Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To print an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To print an article, click on the small Printer Icon located at the top right corner of the page, or by pressing Ctrl + P. Remember, PEP-Web content is copyright.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Balint, M. (1950). On the Termination of Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 31:196-199.

(1950). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31:196-199

On the Termination of Analysis

Michael Balint


The criteria for termination can be classified under many possible headings. From among these I have chosen three, not only because they appear to me important, but mainly because I have studied them more closely than the others. The first heading is that of instinctual aims. That means a firmly established genital primacy, the capacity to enjoy full genital satisfaction, i.e. mature genitality. I wish to point out that I mean more than a simple sum-total of all the component sexual instincts; mature genitality is in my opinion a new function emerging about puberty, possibly as the result of a 'natural process' such as I tried to describe in 'Eros and Aphrodite'.

The second group of criteria can be summed up under the heading: relation to instinctual objects. I dealt with this topic in a recent paper: 'On Genital Love'. The gist of my thesis is that genital love is definitely not a natural, spontaneous process but an artefact—the result of civilization (or of education)—a complex fusion of genital satisfaction and pre-genital tenderness; its psychological expression is genital identification with the object based on an exacting reality testing, and its aim the changing of an indifferent or even reluctant object into a loving and co-operating genital partner.

The third group of criteria can be summed up under the heading: structure of the ego. The ego must be strong enough to cope with tensions caused— inter alia —by: (a) the use of alloplastic instead of autoplastic methods for dealing with reality; (b) the acceptance of unpleasant ideas; (c) the sudden increase of excitement before and during an orgasm; (d) maintaining the genital identification with the partner even in phases of temporary dissatisfaction; etc.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.