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(p. 283) Withdrawal and Regression 

(p. 283) Withdrawal and Regression
(p. 283) Withdrawal and Regression

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 21 January 2021

This paper gives an account of the analysis of a patient who did not actually become clinically regressed, but for whom regressions were localized in momentary withdrawal states which occurred in the analytic sessions. Winnicott states that during these moments of withdrawal unexpected things happen which the patient is sometimes able to report. If the analyst can hold the patient as soon as the withdrawn state appears, then the withdrawal state becomes a regression. Unlike a regression the withdrawn state is not profitable and when the patient recovers from a withdrawn state he or she is not changed. Winnicott further proposes that whenever we understand a patient in a deep way and show that we do so by a correct and well-timed interpretation we are holding the patient, and taking part in a relationship in which the patient is in some degree regressed and dependent.

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