Working with sadism: An embodied relational approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, I present my work as an embodied-relational therapist with a young woman who, in her adolescence, was a victim of a gang of paedophiles. At the time of the abuse, my client, Molly, was one of several teenage girls who were systematically groomed by a ring of men who used the girls as prostitutes. These men formed part of a network of paedophiles who subjugated and forcibly subjected the teenage girls to sadistic sexual perversions, inflicting terror, pain, and suffering upon them during a developmentally crucial phase in their sexual maturation. In this chapter, I describe the therapeutic process and the possibilities as well as challenges of working with this client from an embodied-relational perspective. The emergent themes of sadism and sexual perversion are discussed within their wider theoretical context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSadism
Subtitle of host publicationPsychoanalytic Developmental Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429818004
ISBN (Print)9781782206378
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Morit Heitzler.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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