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Mason-Thompson, E.R. (1920). The Relation of the Elder Sister to the Development of the Electra Complex—(A Case of Simple Phobia and Obsession). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:186-195.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:186-195

The Relation of the Elder Sister to the Development of the Electra Complex—(A Case of Simple Phobia and Obsession)

E. R. Mason-Thompson

There has been of late a general and progressive movement in favour of the main concepts of Freudian psychology. But bitter controversy still rages around Freud's exposition of the development of the sex instinct, and his discovery that this instinct is the main pathogenic cause of the neuroses.

This violent (and not infrequently acrimonious) opposition, which is too often substituted for scientific criticism, is difficult to understand. To place the beginnings of the sex life of the individual at puberty is crude and thoroughly unscientific; moreover, it is in direct opposition to very many wellestablished facts, of the truth of which no one is more convinced than the observant parent.

Further, whilst the opponents of these theories have produced no contrary evidence to demonstrate their falsity, every psycho-analyst is able to substantiate them further by the test of practical experience.

He is able to show that the sex-life of the neurotic who comes to him for treatment is not normal: and that when analysis has laid bare the pathogenic causes of the neurosis they have proved to be rooted in disturbances of the normal sex-life. Finally he can show that when the resistances have been overcome and the patient has realised consciously what has previously been unconscious, and has been able to make the necessary re-adaptation in his life, the neurosis has disappeared. Moreover, it is not a matter for great wonder that sex, which, along with nutrition and self-preservation, makes up the great fundamental triad of instincts upon which every phase of life is built, daily subjected to terrific repression on every hand, should play such an important part when the repression breaks down and the resistance barriers are temporarily destroyed.

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