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Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXII, 1986: The Wishy-Washy Personality. Arnold Goldberg. Pp. 357-374.. Psychoanal Q., 58:328-329.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXII, 1986: The Wishy-Washy Personality. Arnold Goldberg. Pp. 357-374.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:328-329

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXII, 1986: The Wishy-Washy Personality. Arnold Goldberg. Pp. 357-374.

Steven H. Goldberg

The author attempts to develop further a characterology of psychoanalytic self psychology. The wishy-washy character is "unable to care"; this character type is differentiated from character constellations with prominent indecisiveness, compliance, or passivity. Those with wishy-washy characters do not feel relief when a decision is arrived at, nor do they experience regret about alternatives that have been forgone. Goldberg believes that this type of pathology results from a structural deficit in which the individual is unable to experience a feeling of sameness and continuity

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in time. The wishy-washy quality is an attempt to forestall the anxiety about self-continuity that results from the choice of a course of action or caring about that choice. In the patient's development there was a failure of the self-object to share with the patient a notion of temporal continuity. The feeling of self-sameness can only be maintained, then, in the absence of transition. Goldberg presents a clinical example in which the patient had difficulty believing that the analyst retained a memory of her between the sessions. The author maintains that a developmental deficit was repaired, and the wishy-washy quality was left behind.

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Article Citation

Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXII, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 58:328-329

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