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(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: On Love and Hate. Michael Balint. Pp. 355-362.. Psychoanal Q., 23:136-137.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: On Love and Hate. Michael Balint. Pp. 355-362.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:136-137

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: On Love and Hate. Michael Balint. Pp. 355-362.

The author notes a difference between primitive pregenital infantile love and mature love. He regards as complementary the various explanations of the difference between the two forms of love. In his view the important element in primitive love is the proper and timely satisfaction of all needs because of the individual's almost absolute dependence on the object; object and gratification are all-important. No consideration can be paid to the object's interests, sensitivities, or well-being. The object is taken for granted. Gratification brings only a state of tranquil comfort.

The sense of omnipotence is a desperate attempt to overcome a feeling of helplessness and impotence. Omnipotence and 'oral greed' are almost constantly associated.

All primitive object relations contain three ingredients: 1, despondent dependence; 2, denial of the dependence by omnipotence; and, 3, taking the object for granted, treating it as a thing. In this primitive relationship, only one partner can make demands. The basis for all such pregenital object relations is faulty reality testing. We must learn in our development that we can no longer expect automatic satisfaction by our objects but have to give something to change the object into a coöperative partner. The object must be induced to enjoy giving and getting satisfaction in the same mutual action. The author calls this 'the

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work of conquest'. The genital or adult relation is always sexual whereas the pregenital relation is sexually nondimorphous.

A healthy man must be able both to love and hate. In health hate should, like acute anger, be easily and speedily dissipated if the situation changes. Hate is the denial of and defense against primitive object love. Persistent hate always reveals itself as a derivative of frustrated love. Love and hate have no equal status; love is the more general notion because hate has the additional condition of denial of dependence. These ideas lead to a re-examination of the problem of the death instinct, as well as of primary aggressiveness, primary sadism, primary narcissism, and masochism. The author rejects the idea of a primary relation which is neither love nor hate nor narcissism.

In analysis the analyst becomes the object of the primitive love and the patient shows all the characteristics of the pregenital attitude. With analytic work the pregenital transference changes to genital transference. The patient accepts the analyst as a 'real' person and tries to find pleasure in the analyst's approval. The last step toward health is transference to real objects when the patient turns to the external world for a partner.

The author further discusses his ideas about the origin of hate in connection with the termination of analysis.

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Article Citation

(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:136-137

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