Article: Regression to Dependence

“When working with regression to dependence, I may adjust the boundaries of my usual therapeutic stance, particularly those around contact outside sessions and touch, I must stress the importance of supervision when working in this way. Stewart considers that work on this area of analysis has not received the recognition it deserves because of the adaptation of technique that it requires, and the necessity of the therapist living without knowing for long periods. In my experience, rather than seeing a regressive phase which is clear and distinct, which clients approach and then move away from, I have experienced an overarching movement to deeper levels of regression over the course of therapy and I have also noted that clients may move in and out of regressed states within any session. Bollas describes working with patients in the process of breakdown and the difficulties for the analyst when patients tip into psychosis. He makes an interesting statement though, about regression to dependence, “if the analysand regresses to dependence in a rather ordinary way – lessening defences, opening up the self to interpretive transformation, abandoning disturbed character patterns – the self will usually break down in a slow and cumulative way”. by Lorraine Price , Better Late than Never: The Reparative Therapeutic Relationship in Regression to Dependence