This paper examines the dynamics of idealization in analytical couples. Even if this is not a new aspect, not much has been written on the analyst’s contribution to the idealization of the patient or on the tendency to idealize the patient. The very idea that we could be idealized by our patients or that we could idealize them is in contrast with our ideal of ourselves as clinicians. We therefore tend to resist to acknowledge these dynamics. Our failed elaboration of this aspect leads us often to turn idealization into contempt, when it is uncovered or becomes unbearable. I will use some published and novel material to reflect on co-constructed idealizations, as it happened in Masud Khan’s and Harry Guntrip’s treatment by Winniccott. I argue that these dynamics are universal and we need to be aware of them and elaborate them; I do not certainly mean to accuse Winnicott of wrongdoing.
Keywords: Psychoanalytical ideals, idealization, de-idealization, denuial, analytic collusion