Configurations of threeness: oedipal models, oedipal levels

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Ivey, Gavin ORCID: 0000-0002-5537-3504 (2006) Configurations of threeness: oedipal models, oedipal levels. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 23 (1). pp. 63-81. ISSN 0265-9883


How the Oedipus complex is organized and experienced is determined by what we do in our minds with the presence of the other perceived to come between us and our objects. Various oedipal models have mapped various configurations of three-ness: psychic patterns of self in relation to a couple. These configurations are determined by how, and at what level, we struggle with the problematic presence of a third person. The application of Freudian and Kleinian oedipal models to case material from an adult male patient is used to illustrate the complexity and layering of oedipal issues, and the importance of keeping various oedipal perspectives in mind in the course of our analytic work. The paper concludes by differentiating my patient from those manifesting triadic aversion or hatred of three-ness. The latter not only describes a problematic category of analytic patient, but throws into stark relief the more ‘mature’ oedipal configurations corresponding to Freud's and Klein's oedipal models.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-0118.2006.00009.x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID19121, Oedipus complex, Freudian oedipal models, Kleinian oedipal models, layering of oedipal issues, triadic aversion
Citations in Scopus 1 - View on Scopus
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