In this volume, Michael Balint, who over the years made a sustained and brilliant contribution to the theory and technique of psychoanalysis, develops the concept of the 'basic fault' in the bio-psychology structure of every individual, involving in varying degree both mind and body. Balint traces the origins of the basic fault to the early formative period, during which serious discrepancies arise between the needs of the individual and the care and nurture available. These Discrepancies create a kind of deficiency state.
On the basis of this concept, Balint assumes the existence of a specific area of the mind in shich all the processes have an exclusively two-person structure consisting of the individual and the individual's primary object. Its dynamic force, originating from the basic fault has the overwhelming aim of 'putting things right'. This area is contrasted with two others: the area of the Oedipus complex, which has essentially a triangular structure comprising the individual and two of his objects, and whose characteristic dynamism has the form of a conflict; and the area of creation, in which there are no objects in the proper sense, and whose characteristic force is the urge to create, to produce
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface to the 1979 Reprint by Enid Balint. Preface. Part I. The Three Areas of the Mind. Part II. Primary Narcissiscm and Primary Love. Part III. The Gulf and the Analyst's Responses to it. Part IV. The benign and the Malignant Forms of Regression. Part V. The Regressed Patient and His Analyst. Bibliography. Special Bibliography on Oral Dependence and Related States. Index.
Michael Balint, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., who died in 1971, was a psychoanalyst of international reputation, whose originality expressed itself both in clinical practice and in teaching. His involvement with the development of psychoanalytic theory and practice was paralleled by a concern with stimulating understanding of psychodynamic principles among other professional groups, particularly general practitioners. His varied and prolific writings attest to these aims.