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Anxiety: the importunate companion. Psychoanalytic theory of castration and separation anxieties and implications for clinical technique


  • This is a revised version of a paper presented at the European Psychoanalytical Federation Conference in Copenhagen, April 2011.


In this article I consider the implications of our differing psychoanalytic theories of anxiety on clinical technique. Drawing on differentiations between the focus on separation or castration anxiety and the relative neglect of the latter in contemporary writing, I look in detail at two clinical examples of psychoanalysis in borderline young adults to exemplify the issue.1