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Khan, M.R. (1972). Dread of Surrender to Resourceless Dependence in the Analytic Situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:225-230.

(1972). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53:225-230

Dread of Surrender to Resourceless Dependence in the Analytic Situation

M. Masud R. Khan

The issue of regression in the clinical situation features prominently in most of the analytic researches on technique and therapy in recent years. Balint, in his book, The Basic Fault(1968), has given a detailed account of the multiplicity of issues involved. As Balint points out, there is as yet little agreement as to what constitutes the aetiology of these regressive needs and demands and how they are to be handled clinically. My work in this area has been essentially influenced by the researches of Winnicott (1958), (1965). In this presentation I shall focus on the clinical management of what Balint (1968) calls 'malignant forms of regression'. I would, however, like to get one source of misunderstanding out of the way. I am not discussing fostering regression in the clinical analytic situation, but facilitating and meeting it as, when and how it is released by the inherent needs and internal psychic processes of the patient concerned. The word 'foster', according to The Penguin English Dictionary, has the implications of 'encourage; cherish, harbour'. Sandler, Dare & Holder (1970) have constructively discussed this area of conceptual confusion in their paper, 'Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts: VIII. Special Forms of Transference'. Balint (1968) postulates that malignant forms of regression show the following picture:

1. since the mutually trusting relationship is highly precariously balanced, the arglos, unsuspecting, atmosphere breaks down repeatedly, and frequently symptoms of desperate clinging develop as safeguards and reassurance against another possible breakdown;


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