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The Meanings of Privation

By Dr. Peter Maduro, J.D., Psy.D. - Sunday, July 30, 2017

I have in mind all those people for whom one or another of their essential emotional needs meets with relentless privation. By “essential emotional needs” I mean, for example, the person’s needs that his or her painful feelings be seen, understood, and held as significant by important-others. By “privation” I mean a state of person’s relational environment --characterized by scarcity or lacking-- wherein there is little to no possibility that such essential needs can or will be met. In my perhaps idiosyncratic usage, deprivation is a state of scarce/negative possibility created by the withdrawal of possibility (possibility given is taken away), whereas privation is a state of scarce/negative possibility that was there from the beginning (possibility never given).