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Lewis, J.I. (2019). Better Late than Never: The Reparative Therapeutic Relationship in Regression to Dependence by Lorraine Price, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 216 pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 79(1):131-133.
(2019). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79(1):131-133
Better Late than Never: The Reparative Therapeutic Relationship in Regression to Dependence by Lorraine Price, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 216 pp.
Review by: Jeffrey I. Lewis, Ph.D.
Having taught a ten-week analytic institute course several times, entitled, “The Therapeutic Use of Regression: Ferenczi and Balint,” I believed myself to be a reasonable candidate to review this new book. Even if Price, an Irish clinician, had not set out to explain her thesis of therapeutic regression to dependency, this book could stand alone simply by virtue of her chapters summarizing the vast miasmas of theory regarding the vagueries of infancy and the vital conditions leading to either a severely bereft adult or functional individual able to navigate the challenges of adulthood. She exhibits a mastery of diverse concepts ranging from bonding, attunement, impingement, maternal-infant dyad, environmental failure-deprivation, object seeking vs. pleasure seeking, and, of course the the state of total infant dependency
Price's conceptual focus is examining natural dependency in human infancy, and what can go disastrously wrong if not met with maternal containment, even using her own story, namely a mother who could not contain her own anxiety, much less the primal anxiety of her child, leading to an unrequited search in adulthood often resulting in relations marked by excessive need, fear of being abandoned, or extreme pseudo-independence. Her profound understanding of dependency (not a 4-letter word) is her forte and she presents it in several ways.
Firstly, she fits together three formats which allow her exposure of regression and dependency. The shift to the idea of narrative, a 1990's trend toward story-providing context; object relations theory allowing the construct of self within an intersubjective arena; and, profound knowledge of developmental theory squaring the essential forming of self of very early infancy and childhood.
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