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Fonagy, P. Target, M. (2004). Relationships to Bad Objects: Repetition or Current Self-Disorganization? Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(6):733-741.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(6):733-741

Relationships to Bad Objects: Repetition or Current Self-Disorganization? Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA and Mary Target, Ph.D.

The authors conceptualize Davies's account of the difficult session with her patient Karen as a mentalization mismatch: an expectable failure on the analyst's part to understand the mental state of the patient. In response, the patient used projective identification to re-create the link to the analyst that was temporarily severed. They argue that the therapeutic impasse produced by Karen's successful externalization of a persecuting part of her self is more than repetition of a past relationship. It is the current experience of a disorganized self: a pervasive state for the borderline patient, and a temporary but no less disorganized state in the analyst.

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