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Scott, W.C. (1986). Mourning, the analyst, and the analysand. Free Associations, 1(7):7-10.

(1986). Free Associations, 1(7):7-10

Mourning, the analyst, and the analysand

W. Clifford M. Scott

Were I a lusty hungry baby I might be glad to feed and be fed for more than ten minutes. If my provider took my food away before ten minutes were up, if she frustrated me, I might become mad, but I am older than a young baby of more than, say, 6 months, and I have learned that good providers may also be frustraters, that glad babies may also sometimes be mad babies and that the same situations which have been frustrating and maddening may become disappointing and saddening instead. I have learned to cry sadly and not just madly or gladly. Out of my complicated growth and learning, a new feeling, that of sadness, of grief at lost objects and lost opportunities, emerged. I can regress to madness, or I can progress to a mournful resolution of my sadness. I can learn that the lost object may be regained; the lost opportunity of pleasure may be replaced by a new opportunity. I can learn to resolve mourning by reparation of damage done by the loss, instead of by regressing to believing that I can restitute a status quo ante and that things will be as they were before I became sad.

Once sadness emerges, the beginning of its repetition through life begins. More complex grief, and consequently more and more complex mourning, and consequently more and more complex resolutions of mourning develop. Losses of more complex opportunities and objects occur.

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