Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 165–178 | Cite as

“Getting even”: Clinical considerations of adaptive and maladaptive vengeance

  • Martha A. Gabriel
  • Gail W. Monaco


This article is intended to acquaint the reader with the concept of vengeance. Conceptualized as the intense, compelling wish or intention to get even, right a wrong, or avenge an injury, vengeance is best understood on a continuum from innocuous retaliatory fantasies/actions on one end of the continuum to meeting out of death and destruction on the other end. This article identifies various manifestations of vengeance, discusses theoretical formulations related to affects in general and vengeance, in particular, and presents a series of case vignettes which highlight the adaptive and maladaptive function of this psychological phenomenon.


Social Psychology Theoretical Formulation Clinical Consideration Psychological Phenomenon Case Vignette 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha A. Gabriel
    • 1
  • Gail W. Monaco
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Social WorkNew York UniversityNew York
  2. 2.New York

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