Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see papers related to the one you are viewing…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are articles or videos related to the one you are viewing, you will see a related papers icon next to the title, like this: RelatedPapers32Final3For example:


Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are related (including the current one). Related papers may be papers which are commentaries, responses to commentaries, erratum, and videos discussing the paper. Since they are not part of the original source material, they are added by PEP editorial staff, and may not be marked as such in every possible case.


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

Winnicott, D.W. (1955). Metapsychological and Clinical Aspects of Regression Within the Psycho-Analytical Set-Up. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:16-26.

(1955). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 36:16-26

Metapsychological and Clinical Aspects of Regression Within the Psycho-Analytical Set-Up

D. W. Winnicott


Attention is drawn to the subject of regression as it occurs in the psycho-analytic setting. Case reports of successful psychological treatments of adults and children show that techniques that allow of regression are increasingly being used. It is the psycho-analyst, familiar with the technique required in treatment of psycho-neurosis, who can best understand regression and the theoretical implication of the patient's expectations that belong to the need to regress.

Regression can be of any degree, localized and momentary, or total and involving a patient's whole life over a phase. The less severe regressions provide fruitful material for research.

Emerging from such study comes a fresh understanding of the 'true self' and 'false self', and of the 'observing ego', and of the ego-organization which enables regression to be a healing mechanism, one that remains potential unless there be provided a new and reliable environmental adaptation which can be used by the patient in correction of the original adaptive failure.

Here the therapeutic work in analysis links up with that done by child care, by friendship, by enjoyment of poetry, and cultural pursuits generally. But psycho-analysis can allow and use the hate and anger belonging to the original failure, important effects which are liable to destroy the value of therapeusis brought about by non-analytic methods.

On recovery from regression the patient, with the self now more fully surrendered to the ego, needs ordinary analysis as designed for the management of the depressive position and of the Oedipus complex in interpersonal relationships.

[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 © 2020, 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.