MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Affect, Symptom, Fantasy, Dream: Clinical And Theoretical Considerations

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Published online on


A symptom being studied in the process of analysis can be seen as not unlike the unconscious affect it sprang from. The author presents a case in which a symptom, premature ejaculation, was analogous to the unconscious affect of guilt, which itself seemed to be a premature defensive transformation of a deeper current of anger. Guilt was interpreted as if it were a psychic premature ejaculation, a defensive derailment of anger. Fantasy and dream seemed to be engaged in similar transformations, with a fantasy of “premature incarceration” not unlike the symptom itself in its analogous functioning. Analysis of affect, symptom, fantasy, and dream in complex, integrative analytic process led not only to resolution of the symptom itself, but also to a deeper understanding of the mind's complex functioning in general.