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Slochower, J. (2011). Analytic Idealizations and the Disavowed: Winnicott, His Patients, and Us. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(1):3-21.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(1):3-21

Analytic Idealizations and the Disavowed: Winnicott, His Patients, and Us

Joyce Slochower, A.B.P.P.

This paper explores the dynamics of mutual idealization within the analytic dyad. While the subject of idealization is not a new one, very little has been written about the analyst's own participation in patients' idealizations or her vulnerability to idealizing the patient. I use both published and unpublished materials to muse about coconstructed idealizations as they appear to have coalesced in Winnicott's treatment of Masud Khan and Harry Guntrip. Because the notion that we might be involved in being idealized by our patients—or in idealizing them—collides with our professional vision, we tend to be highly resistant to acknowledging these dynamics and often turn to denigration when they are unmasked. I argue for the ubiquity of idealization's dynamics and against the demonization of Winnicott.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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