Abstract Title:

Zombie states: reconsidering the relationship between life and death instincts.

Abstract Source:

Psychoanal Q. 2011 Apr ;80(2):269-86. PMID: 21627006

Abstract Author(s):

Bruce Reis

Article Affiliation:

New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA. bruce.reis@nyu.edu


Where the dialectical relation of life and death instincts has become dissociated, zombie states result-in which individuals inhabit deadness as if it were a full experience of aliveness. Bypassing reservations about the speculative nature of these instincts, this paper reconsiders their relation in order to highlight certain types of clinical phenomenology that could otherwise be lost to current ways of conceptualizing aliveness and deadness. A clinical vignette illustrates particular countertransference difficulties associated with dichotomizing issues of psychic aliveness and deadness, as well as the powerful contagion associated with what the author terms zombie states.

Study Type : Review
Additional Links
Additional Keywords : Zombie Epidemic : CK(5) : AC(4)

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