chapter  18
7 Pages

The hazards inherent in managing the regression

A third group of analysts, by no means so well organized as the previous two, and spread all over the analytic world, also start from the gulf separating us normal adults from the child in the patient, but think-in many ways similarly to myself-that it is due to mismanagement of the child during his early formative period by the adults, above all by his mother. The mismanagement, the lack of 'fit' between mother and her child, may create lasting structural alterations in the child's mind. For instance, according to Winnicott, one of the most frequently-met results is a kind of split in the ego; in response to the mismanagement-probably by introjecting the indifferent, overwhelming, or inadequate environment - a false ego or self is brought into being in order to cope with the unsympathetic world. This false ego may be highly efficient, and even successful in many fields of life, but it bars the access to the true or real self which thus remains immature, out of touch with reality. The result is a lifelong feeling of futility, emptiness and unhappiness.