D. W. Winnicott on Clinical varieties of Transference Psychotics vs. Neurotics in Transferences and the role of Anger

Summary of D. W. Winnicott on Clinical varieties of transference
Psychotics vs. Neurotics in Transference and the role of Anger

In the process of transference we can differentiate between the patient that is struggling with the primary identification, of the borderline and psychotic phase, and the secondary identification of the neurotic. The psychotic patient is still in the process of establishing his ego because the primary identification was not complete due to the not good enough mothering. The psychotic becomes totally dependent on the analyst in order to release his false self and allow his true self and real ego to exist, integrate, and develop establishment. If the analyst allows the patient to become totally dependent (and regress to dependency) and give up his false self he will then begin to feel ownership of the id as part of the ego and allow the ego to take place. The patient can move from pathology to health and is able to establish his sense of self and ego. If the analysis was successful and the ego is able to come forth the individual will now be able to recall past failures that were done to him and feel angry. The feeling of anger is the success of the wholeness of the ego and the ability to be an historical being (T. Ogden,1986)and thus remember and feel the right to be angry at the mothers impingement. Only the whole ego is established and can feel hate and anger does reality tested and object relatedness begin.
The ability for the patient to be angry at the mother’s failure for not establishing the good enough environment becomes first possible with the analysts mistakes in the therapeutic realm and his ability to take account for them and allow the patient to be angry with him as the mother . The anger towards the analyst allows the patient to become independent from the analyst and begin to see himself as a separate entity with his own ownership. He can begin to move from his dependency to self-sufficiency through the anger. The anger is the tool the severs the dependency and creates the individuation.
The positive and negative elements of transference in the psychotic is therefore a ‘developmental’ process. Whereas in The neurotic who was successful in establishing his ego and thus his ego is able to identify and relate with the analyst, which was established in the triangulation of the Oedipus complex, the transference is only ‘relational’ not developmental . Thus the failure of the analyst will just create a negative transference in the relationship but not the separation-individuation of the psychotics development.

4 thoughts on “D. W. Winnicott on Clinical varieties of Transference Psychotics vs. Neurotics in Transferences and the role of Anger

  1. I agree. The clinical relationship is a good realm for the transference of anger which leads to healthy future relationships. I think perhaps some patients need to experience anger and separation/individuation from father failure as well?

  2. Absolutely-I agree 100%!! I think the fact that Winnicott put the sole emphasis on the mother was one of his limitations. I think the father does play a vital role in the ego development of the child and is thus equally responsible.
    Thanks so much for commenting and following,

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