IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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2. Mature, active object-love, as Balint describes it, involves a recapitulation of primordial satisfaction of need along so many developmental ‘by-paths’ or pathways: “The successive stages of development…anal-sadistic, phallic and finally genital object-relations – have not a biological but a cultural basis” (1935: 63). By the same token, primary phenomena of Freudian drive theory are understood in terms of early environmental failure resulting in a ‘basic fault’. Most notably, aggression is understood as a reaction to frustration rather than an aim in itself; more particularly, for Balint (1951) hate is always a reactive, secondary phenomenon and not one of the basic primary drives of the individual. Similarly, primary narcissism is redefined in terms of a libidinal investment in auto-erotism, precisely where the child has not been sufficiently provided for, or given ‘too little’, to begin with. 3. The distinction between ‘benign’ and ‘malignant’ types of regression (1968: 146) may be viewed in terms of a clearly defined ‘mixed model’. The former is seen as manifest in the therapeutic relationship on the basis of primary relational needs; the latter, on the basis of infantile instinctual pleasure. Accordingly, Balint treated the therapeutic aspects of regression in the context of his revised object-relations psychopathology (See the eparate entry REGRESSION). The classical Freudian model – based on interpretation of resistance aimed at insight – assumes that patients are capable of internalizing or ‘taking in’ what is available in the analytic relationship; that interpretations are experienced as interpretations and not as something else; and that the ego is adequate to the task of working-through. The revised model is required in the case of severely narcissistic, borderline and psychotic patients – that is, where the centrality of the Oedipus complex cannot be assumed; but also, where the immediate interpretation of primitive pre-oedipal states runs the risk of generating a negative therapeutic reaction or else bringing about a compliant posture in the patient. Balint makes a major contribution along these lines, in the tradition of Ferenczi and the Budapest school, to our understanding of the therapeutic relationship in the case of regressed patients. The relational view of human nature is combined here with a drive-based, pleasure-oriented view of human motivation, a combination which Balint saw as theoretically and clinically irreducible. III E. Winnicott: Primitive Emotional Processes and Interpersonal Relationships Donald Winnicott presented his contribution to psychoanalysis as essentially part of the Freud-Klein tradition; while at the same time proposing a radically new theory of object- relationships. This continues to be a matter of debate among his readers, some of whom insist on the Freudian sources and foundations of Winnicott’s theoretical advances (Green 1999: 199-200; Abram 2013: 1), while others are no less adamant in placing him in complete opposition to classical theory (Rycroft 1995: 197; Fulgencio 2007; Loparic 2010). 1. Winnicott furnished object-relations theory with a model of normal development in which “continuity of being is health” (1988: 127). This is a basic assumption of psychoanalysis for Winnicott (1954: 281), the idea that “health implies continuity in regard to…evolutionary progress of the psyche and that health is maturity of emotional development appropriate to


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