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Paperback The Basic Fault: Therapeutic Aspects of Regression Book

ISBN: 0810110253

ISBN13: 9780810110250

The Basic Fault: Therapeutic Aspects of Regression

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

When it was first published in 1968, Michael Balint's The Basic Fault laid the groundwork for a far-ranging reformation in psychoanalytic theory. This reformation is still incomplete, for it remains true today that despite the proliferation of techniques and schools, we do not know which are more correct or more successful--and all psychoanalysts continue to encounter intractable cases of mental disorder. Balint argues that ordinary "rigid"...

Customer Reviews

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A provocative glimpse at a critical moment in psychoanalysis

Balint's classic collection of essays, "The Basic Fault," is no how-to guide for aspiring psychotherapists seeking help in managing severely regressed patients. Instead, this thought-provoking collection takes us through the historical unfolding of the complex notion of regression in psychoanalysis, focusing at length on the disagreement between Freud and Ferenczi. Balint describes a crucial distinction between "benign" and "malignant" regression (still a controversial idea in the psychoanalytic community in the 1970s) and describes how an analyst might work productively with "benign" regression in therapy. Reading this book made me appreciate anew the painstaking work of British "independent school" analysts like Balint, who owed allegiance to neither Kleinian nor Freudian schools, and therefore were able to ask questions not recognized by either. I recommend this book highly for any therapist who wishes to deepen her understanding of the notion of regression.

The Wind in the Crevasse; thoughts about The Basic Fault

Did you have a rotten childhood? Well, get over it! In The Basic Fault, Michael Balint argues that the adult, Freudian, Oedipal language of the analyst may be completely indecipherable to patients who are frozen at a pre-Oedipal, preverbal level where relationships are only dyadic, language is only nascent, and where some fundamental missattunement between the infant and the environment (e.g. mother) results in the basic fault. Instead, analysts might do well to focus on object relationships, not interpretations, when working with these regressed patients. The analyst waits for the patient's reflections to evolve from "resentment" to "regret", and allows the patient to have a new relationship with a new object. Don't miss Balint's treatment of a patient who performed a somersault right in the consulting room!
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