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Margolis, G.J. (1966). Secrecy and Identity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:517-522.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:517-522

Secrecy and Identity

Gerald J. Margolis


Implicit in much of psychiatric personality theory is the assumption that people hide things from one another (i.e., keep secrets). Intensive or analytically-oriented psychotherapy indeed involves itself with a discussion of otherwise personally secret topics and is itself set up as a two-person secret discussion. Psycho-analytic theory deals with how and why people keep secrets and has even created a special language to describe the answers to these two questions. But while it deals with secrets, secretly as a concept has not been elucidated. What is the meaning of secrecy to human beings? This paper is an attempt partially to answer this question. The concept of secrecy and its relationship to the concepts of self, individuality, and identity are discussed.

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