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Exile as a dissociative state: When a self is “lost in transit”.

The author explores “exile” as both a migratory and psychological phenomenon, with particular emphasis on it as a state of mind—one that, by virtue of the dissociative processes by which it is characterized, forecloses the (psychic) possibility of immigration. From this point of view, an exile is not simply one who cannot (physically) return; she is someone who cannot “remember” other versions of herself, who cannot bridge the gaps between versions of self rooted in disparate times, physical spaces and relationships, who cannot “stand in the spaces” between self-states. With a view of clinical process that forefronts dissociative phenomena in both patient and analyst/therapist, and their enactment in the therapeutic relationship, the author describes various forms of exile th…

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