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Brierley, M. (1960). Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation: By Heinz Hartmann. Translated by David Rapaport. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Monograph Series No. 1. (New York: International Universities Press, Inc.; London: Imago Publishing Co. Ltd., 1958. Pp. xi + 121. $3.00 or 21 s.).. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:566-568.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:566-568

Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation: By Heinz Hartmann. Translated by David Rapaport. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Monograph Series No. 1. (New York: International Universities Press, Inc.; London: Imago Publishing Co. Ltd., 1958. Pp. xi + 121. $3.00 or 21 s.).

Review by:
Marjorie Brierley

This English version of Hartmann's Ich-Psychologie und Anpassungsproblem published in 1939 will be a boon to all who, like the reviewer, read the original German with difficulty. David Rapaport's translation is very good, but the Essay is still far from easy reading because it is so packed with concentrated thought. The author still considers most of the thoughts presented in it to be valid, and footnote references are given to later papers in which the major concepts were elaborated and systematized. In retrospect, it appears that he was justified in considering this Essay to be 'in the nature of a program which must be filled in and made concrete by detailed empirical investigations'. Hartmann's aim is to advance the status of psycho-analysis as a general psychology by studying hitherto relatively neglected aspects of ego organization and function. Thus, he writes, 'It is striking that while the concept "ego syntonic" is fairly well defined, experience shows that the term "reality syntonic" is so elastic that it covers diverse and even partly contradictory views.' What Anna Freud did for the ego and the mechanisms of defence, Hartmann seeks to do for the ego and its relations to external reality.

Returning to the programme aspect of the Essay, Chapter 1 introduces the concept of the 'conflict-free ego sphere'. This term is suggested for 'that ensemble of functions which at any given time exert their effects outside the region of mental conflicts'. For

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