The Metamorphosis of Symptoms: The Domain of Wishes and the Domain of Traits

  • Henry Kellerman

It is proposed, that in the psyche various mechanisms of defense are utilized in the transformation and shift of the symptom from the domain of wishes to the domain of character traits. Of course, psychoanalytically, all mechanisms of defense are conceived as operating within the dynamic rules of the psyche, and by the laws of the unconscious. Yet, in order to understand the hypothesized phenomenon of this shift of symptom from a wish dominated encapsulated neurotic state into a trait dominated character or characterological state, it would seem to be necessary to distinguish between two kinds or classes of defense.


Character Trait Basic Emotion Dynamic Rule Symptom Formation Neurotic Symptom 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Kellerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Postgraduate Center for Mental HealthNew YorkUSA

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