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Blanck, G. (1966). Some Technical Implications of Ego Psychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:6-13.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:6-13

Some Technical Implications of Ego Psychology

Gertrude Blanck

Freud's formulation of the structural hypothesis in 1923 has had far-reaching effect upon the direction which subsequent theoretical development has taken. It led to elaboration of psycho-analytic theory of the ego by Freud's heirs—particularly Anna Freud, Hartmann, Kris, Loewenstein, Spitz, Jacobson, Mahler, and Greenacre—and changed pyscho-analysis from an id-psychology to an id-ego psychology, with the ego becoming more and more the focus of investigative consideration.

Before Freud thought of the ego as a structural entity, he already knew that the ego, even though incompletely conceived and defined metapsychologically, is the medium through which psycho-analytic therapy operates. Glover and Fenichel emphasized Freud's observation that the ego is the only institution which is accessible to the analyst and which can be influenced by analytic intervention. It is the recipient and synthesizer of interpretations. Freud further maintained that the procedure of psycho-analysis is of avail only when there is a relatively intact ego which can participate in the analytic task. While we still hold this view today, one of the clinical fruits of greater theoretical knowledge about the ego—its structure, its development, its functions, its relationship to the other psychic institutions—is that we are now able to utilize the very technique of psycho-analysis in the service of enabling the ego to perform its analytic work.

Current research in ego development promises more precise knowledge about pathology resulting from developmental deficiencies.

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