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Levin, D.C. (1969). The Self: A Contribution to its Place in Theory and Technique. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:41-51.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:41-51

The Self: A Contribution to its Place in Theory and Technique

D. C. Levin

The theme of this 26th International Congress is progress in psychoanalysis. In the past, progress in psychoanalysis has never for long been a one-sided nor an unbalanced penetration on an isolated, narrow front. Light has been thrown at different times, by different groups of investigators on the vicissitudes of consciousness and of instinctual development, on developing object-relations, on the structural development of ego and superego functions and their autonomies, on the developing defences, on the development of internalization, and of independence, and so on. While in the adventure of discovery, especially of the unconscious, there have been the kinds of overemphases that may be expected, there has never in the past been serious doubt that all the various discoveries were necessarily interrelated parts of a coherent and organized whole.

Indeed, what Hartmann (1956) called "the equilibrium in Freud's grasp of reality" did not allow a biological approach to be paid for by the neglect either of the external sociocultural environment, or of the internal psychological environment. We would not be far wrong even today, I believe, in underlining the breadth of Freud's approach and we have to say that his expectation that psychoanalytic theory, clinical observation and technical capability would always integrate themselves has been one of the main reasons for the steady progress of psycho-analysis in the past. The fate of Freud's early seduction theory is a good example of this process of integration.

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