Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To turn on (or off) thumbnails in the list of videos….

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To visualize a snapshot of a Video in PEP Web, simply turn on the Preview feature located above the results list of the Videos Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Sandler, J. Sandler, A. (1994). Theoretical and Technical Comments on Regression and Anti-Regression. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:431-439.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:431-439

Theoretical and Technical Comments on Regression and Anti-Regression

Joseph Sandler and Anne-Marie Sandler


Following a discussion of the 'classical' formulations on regression and fixation, the view is put forward that the distinction between various types of regression is on the whole superfluous. However, it is important to distinguish between 'latent' regression in the patient's 'present unconscious', the contents of which are defended against and kept from consciousness on the one hand, and 'manifest' regression on the other, in which current versions of developmentally earlier wishes and fantasies emerge overtly in acceptable form in thought and behaviour. The anti-regressive function can be regarded as being operative from early in development, and functions to a greater or lesser extent throughout our daily lives. As a concept it reflects the operation of all the defence mechanisms and manoeuvres which operate to protect consciousness and conscious awareness of behaviour. Because it reflects a general tendency of the mind to defend consciousness from unwelcome content arising in the present unconscious, it is consequently a major source of resistance in analysis. Analytic progress takes place when the patient gains sufficient security in an analysis-syntonic way to allow a progressively increasing capacity for controlled relaxation of the anti-regressive function to take place, and for previously unacceptable wishful phantasies to be tolerated and accepted by the patient. This relaxation of the anti-regressive function is allied to Ernst Kris's description of 'regression in the service of the ego'.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.