ORPHA, ORPHIC FUNCTIONS, AND THE ORPHIC ANALYST: WINNICOTT’S “REGRESSION TO DEPENDENCE” IN THE LANGUAGE OF FERENCZI*

Abstract

Early developmental trauma is imprinted in the psyche by survival fragmentation and dissociation. Traumatized patients need the analyst to be actively involved and allow for regression to dependence in order to strengthen, create and construct their psychic functioning and structure so that environmental failures will be contained and not rupture continuity of being. I suggest that Ferenczi’s and Winnicott’s ideas about regression to dependence in analysis are fundamental contributions to these quests, and that Ferenczi set the foundation, which Winnicott further explored and developed. I would like to focus on their clinical theory of treating early developmental trauma of the psyche, describing it in the less known language of Ferenczi, reviving his concept of Orpha and its functions. The complementarities of the two approaches can enrich and broaden our understanding of the clinical complications that arise in the analysis of such states.

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Correspondence to Hayuta Gurevich.

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Address Correspondence to Hayuta Gurevich, 52 Nachmani st., Tel-Aviv, Israel.

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Gurevich, H. ORPHA, ORPHIC FUNCTIONS, AND THE ORPHIC ANALYST: WINNICOTT’S “REGRESSION TO DEPENDENCE” IN THE LANGUAGE OF FERENCZI* . Am J Psychoanal 76, 322–340 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-016-9049-2

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Keywords

  • early trauma
  • dissociation
  • regression to dependence
  • Orpha
  • Orphic functions