Lacanian Perverse Structure and Disavowal Mechanism: A Clinical Examination

Özlem Kahraman Erkuş


Perversion is one of the three fundamental diagnostic categories that Lacan has proposed. In perversion, the first paternal function is achieved so that the alienation takes place, however, the secondary father function, “The name of the father” is not recognized, thus the person cannot be separated from their mother. This subject is included in the symbolic system with alienation, but the subject’s position is the mother’s object of enjoyment due to not being separated. Disavowal is seen as the mechanism in the formation of perversion, while defence mechanisms are defined as ones reactions to castre. In the disavowal mechanism, the person both knows and rejects castration. Hence, one can accept two opposing ideas at the same time. The main purpose of this study is to exemplify the disavowal mechanism in the therapy process by compiling information about Lacanian perverse structure and disavowal mechanism, while sharing information for therapy process by summarizing a case using the disavowal mechanism. Therefore, in this article, Lacanian perverse structure and the mechanism of disavowal will be explained. Then, a case that was formulated in this framework will be introduced and the mechanism of disavowal will be exemplified. In the last part of the article, recommendations for the therapy process will be given.


Perversion; Disavowal; Defence mechanism; Lacanian perverse structure.

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