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Moreau Ricaud, M. (2007). Balint's Influence on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice. Am. J. Psychoanal., 67(4):317-333.

(2007). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67(4):317-333

Balint's Influence on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice

Michelle Moreau Ricaud, Ph.D.

Invited by the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center in New York to lecture on my book Michael Balint: Le renouveau de l'Ecole de Budapest, Toulouse, Erès 2000, I first gave my personal and analytic motivations for writing this book. Then I stressed Balint's original contributions to analytical theory and practice: the object relation combined with the theory of instinct, the development of the infant, adolescent and even of old age, the basic fault, archaic defenses (such as ocnophilia and philobatism), as well as his idea about analytic treatment with its phases of regression and “new beginning”. His style and his discretion in treatment and mainly the responsibility he recommended to the analysts seem to me very important not to forget. I have shown him as Ferenczi's heir and how he continued his work. His clinical approach and his style are evoked to alert contemporary analysts—who sometimes just know his method to train general practitioners through the Balint group—that they have been influenced unbeknown to them.

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