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Von Zeppelin, I. Moser, U. (1973). The Application of the Simulation Model of Neurotic Defence Mechanisms to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychosomatic Illness. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:79-84.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:79-84

The Application of the Simulation Model of Neurotic Defence Mechanisms to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychosomatic Illness

Ilka Von Zeppelin and U. Moser


During the last few years a computer simulation model has been developed by Moser, von Zeppelin & Schneider (1968), (1969), (1970a), (1970b) which seeks to formalize the psychoanalytic theory of the defence organization by means of computer languages. Formalization of a theory means that all concepts are broken down and systematically defined, i.e. variables of a system are motivation variables and/or observation variables or can be specified as relations between variables in this system. Simulation makes it possible, by varying the parameter values of the model, to generate on the machine individual variants of defence processes in neurotic conflicts. The model was designed with the aim of defining, by means of a differentiation of the defence process, neurotic states which appear in the simulation as equilibration states of the system or as only very slowly changing states of the system. Especial attention was devoted to the stages between neurosis and psychosis. It was not our intention to simulate psychosomatic states, but the model must be capable of differentiating such states from other patterns of neurosis or psychosis. In order to treat this question in detail, the basic features of the model have to be set forth. The technical aspects are excluded from this discussion. They are exhaustively dealt with elsewhere (Moser et al., 1968), (1970a), (1970b).

The model does not intend to explain the origin of neurotic conflicts. It concentrates on defence processes applied whenever a neurotic conflict is reactivated and released by a certain drive state.

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