Sado-masochism as a defense against merging: Six case studies

  title={Sado-masochism as a defense against merging: Six case studies},
  author={T. T. Gagnier and R. Robertiello},
  journal={Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy},
This paper reports on several patients who use sado-masochism as a defense against an unconscious wish for and fear of merging. The sado-masochism can be expressed as a sexual perversion or in a difficult ungratifying interpersonal relationship. These relationships have some of the quality of addictions in that the patients have a compulsive need to continue them and find it extremely difficult to leave them. Therapy must focus on helping the patient become more separate, rather than on other… Expand
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