The Betrayal of Basic Trust: Incest and Love Lost

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(11), 1220–1221. Reviews the book, The Trauma of Transgression: Psychotherapy of Incest Victims edited by Selma Kramer and Salman Akhtar (1991). The use of one's children for sexual gratification is a cruel exploitation and is always traumatic for the child. What is implicit in this compelling volume is that the violation is not only of the child's body but of the child's capacity for love and trust, which is permanently impaired. The uniqueness of this text is the depth of its case studies along with its focus on the first three years of life in the analytic reconstruction of the origins of the trauma and its provision of in-depth critiques on each case. The reader is offered insights gleaned from ego psychology based on Freud's structural theory and on the research and insight of child analysts such as Mahler, Spitz, and Winnicott. The authors share, boldly and honestly, their countertransference experiences as they empathize with their patients and attune themselves to their tortured spirits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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