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Frosch, J. (1967). Severe Regressive States During Analysis—Summary. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 15:606-625.

(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15:606-625

Severe Regressive States During Analysis—Summary

John Frosch, M.D.

IT SEEMS ADVISABLE to restate the questions which were formulated in the introduction to describe how they were dealt with in the various presentations and to decide whether any other conclusion can be drawn from them, rather than merely to outline the content of the contributions.

1. Are regressive states, severe to the point of disorganization, inherently possible in all analytic cases in varying degree, or are such states special phenomena which occur only in certain types of patients?

It is clear that in most of the cases presented, regardless of the diagnosis, the potential for the development of severe regressive states was a powerful one. The disturbances were often similar to those encountered in psychoses and conditions allied to them. Ego functions concerned with reality, contact with reality, feelings of reality, and especially reality testing, were generally involved. There were severe disturbances in the nature of the object relations to the point of dedifferentiation, as well as disruptions in the boundaries between the various psychic structures, so that id derivatives tended to overwhelm the ego and its functions. Primitive ego functions and defenses, such as projective-introjective techniques, were not uncommon, and were accompanied by alterations of ego states, splitting, and fragmentation.

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