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Rosenfeld, H. (1952). Notes on the Psycho-Analysis of the Super-Ego Conflict of an Acute Schizophrenic Patient. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 33:111-131.

(1952). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 33:111-131

Notes on the Psycho-Analysis of the Super-Ego Conflict of an Acute Schizophrenic Patient Language Translation

Herbert Rosenfeld


I have recorded a part of the analysis of this severely ill patient, not to claim a therapeutic success, but to help and encourage all those analysts who aim at treating schizophrenics by analysis, and who want to understand more about the psychopathology of schizophrenia. A detailed conscious understanding of the psychopathology of schizophrenics is, in my opinion, so important as this enables one to make full use of one's unconscious understanding of their utterances and behaviour in a transference analysis.

The problem of the super-ego and its development and origins is not only important for schizophrenia, but for the neuroses as a whole. Melanie Klein's research on the early origins of the super-ego, and the earliest anxieties, has been accepted by many but by no means all analysts. Some of the doubts they have about her view that these origins are to be found in earliest infancy arise from their difficulties in assessing the developmental period to which certain material belongs. It has frequently been suggested that the analysis of very young children, and of severely regressed schizophrenics, may help to throw further light on this problem.

I have tried to show that a transference analysis of a deeply regressed schizophrenic is possible, and that it can throw light on the earliest introjected objects and on their super-ego functions.

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