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Hill, G. (1956). The Dynamic You-and-I Relationship With a Borderline Personality. Psychoanal. Rev., 43(3):320-336.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Review, 43(3):320-336

The Dynamic You-and-I Relationship With a Borderline Personality

Gerald Hill, M.D.

After three experienced psychotherapists have failed to form a therapeutic bond with a narcissistic, affect hungry, infantile young woman of 26, who had been hospitalized after each of three suicidal attempts following drunken, extramarital sexual episodes, the question arises as to just what type of object relationship does this patient make. Could a rationale for a final psychotherapeutic effort be synthesized from a study of her history, the observations of her previous therapists, an assessment of her environment, and an examination of the literature? This report presents this synthesis and its clinical result.

Jenny was the weaker and smaller of dissimilar twin girls, having had a congenital scoliosis which disappeared with adolescent growth and a hernia for which she wore a truss until her operation at 5. Her mother was able to control her more easily than her healthy twin, the only other child. She did so thorough a job of it that Jenny was a clinging, timid child who rarely asserted herself. Her mother would surfeit her with clothes and toys and cultural objects, and then in anger over trivial acts of assertion she would take from Jenny those objects she had begun to treasure. Whatever rebelliousness Jenny had shown had been broken quite early. This treatment fostered her distrust of the ownership or permanency of any object and her skepticism towards promises.

Her mother found little pleasure with her passive but financially successful husband, and after the twins were born, she began to drink heavily.

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