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(p. 159) Withdrawal and Regression 

(p. 159) Withdrawal and Regression
(p. 159) Withdrawal and Regression

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 25 October 2020

In this chapter, Winnicott describes two different kinds of experience in the analytic setting: withdrawal and regression. Withdrawal is a protective procedure in which the patient holds a regressed part of the self and cares for it at the expense of external relationships. This situation may be cyclical and difficult to resolve. Regression, however, is a form of true healing for the self that may need this extended space in which to recover and acknowledge helplessness and dependence on the analyst and the setting before resuming more mature and independent responsibilities again. Trust, by the patient of the analyst, is a prerequisite of the regressive state, where the very earliest primary narcissistic phase of life may have to be safely recovered and where the analyst must be experienced as dependable.

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