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Peto, A. (1967). Dedifferentiations and Fragmentations During Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 15:534-550.
(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15:534-550
Dedifferentiations and Fragmentations During Analysis
Andrew Peto, M.D.
In conclusion I wish to summarize the theoretical gains that may be realized from this type of regression. I have already mentioned them at different parts of my discussion; what follows is therefore a mere listing of what may be obvious from my approach.
1. The combination of abstinence, firm permissiveness (as discussed), empathy, and deep regression gives ample opportunity to collect and interpret earliest traumatic material and assist reconstruction.
2. The dedifferentiation and fragmentation foster the emergence of a fluid mosaic of self and object representations. These as well as specific drive representations as they emerge from repression will help to draw a clinical-theoretical line between some facets of developmental and maturational factors.
3. In addition, the observation of very early thought processing and archaic and more mature affect mobilization and affect control may contribute to insights in the operation of autonomous functions, of inborn givens, like adaptive capacity, thought processing, stimulus barrier, scope of neutralization, etc., in the framework of Hartmann's conceptualizations (10).
4. Shifts of energy and structural changes can be noticed; the expansion or shrinking of the operational field of the ego vis-à-vis the superego and the id may be observed, as discussed by Hartmann and Loewenstein (11). The return of archaic superego structures is of particular interest.
5. The latter's relation to the ego's autonomous capacity to symbolize and sublimate may be observed as well.
I hope I have been able to demonstrate that this from of regression is more often present than generally mentioned in the literature. I suggest that therapeutic gains and theoretical considerations may be drawn from such regressions if they are properly observed, controlled, and evaluated.
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