Books by AJA Members

The Triumphant Victim A Psychoanalytical Perspective on Sadomasochism and Perverse Thinking

by: J.F. Miller (2013)

Most people have some idea of the meaning of the words sadism and masochism, but often this does not go beyond rather vague ideas of either inflicting or enjoying pain. Few people ask themselves what is behind such behaviour, and this applies even to healthcare professionals and therapists. Using non-technical language, accessible for both the professional and layman, this book attempts to give a clear picture of the underlying pathology of sadomasochism, its effects, and how it can be treated. It also examines other key psychological defence mechanisms such as hysteria and projective identification – and looks at their relationship to sadomasochism. The author draws on many years experience of working with children and families in education, as well as nearly thirty years of analytical practice, in order to give insight into the underlying dynamics. From his clinical experience, he has come to the conclusion that sadomasochistic pathology is a far more widespread and serious problem than is generally recognised. This book uses detailed case material to examine the way in which the problem interferes with relationships and emotional growth in the individual’s everyday life, and how this has profound effects on society as a whole.


J. F. Miller is an analyst, psychotherapist, and child and family psychologist. He was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and St Catherine’s College, Oxford, with postgraduate training in educational psychology at the Tavistock Clinic. He has held teaching posts in primary, secondary, and special education. He is County Psychologist to West Oxfordshire and has created and worked in various consultancy posts to special schools and hostels in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire. He has also consultant and residential social worker experience in Belgium, France, and Norway.

Skip to content