Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To receive notifications about new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to receive notifications about new content in PEP Web? For more information about this feature, click here

To sign up to PEP Web Alert for weekly emails with new content updates click click here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Horowitz, M.H. (1999). On the Difficulty of Analyzing Character. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 8(2):212-218.

(1999). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 8(2):212-218

On the Difficulty of Analyzing Character Related Papers

Milton H. Horowitz, M.D.

I

William Hazlitt in essay 21, “On Personal Character(1821-1824), says: “No one ever changes his character from the time he is two years old …” (p. 230). Hazlitt's superscription to the essay is from Montaigne: “Men palliate and conceal their original qualities, but do not extirpate them.”

As the psychoanalytic endeavor is now into its second century, we can look back upon an extensive scientific literature about specifically psychoanalytic views of character, often written with broad therapeutic hopefulness, but countered by a broad clinical therapeutic experience replete with limitations in effecting character change. The scientific papers and the analysts who write them offer multiple theoretical and technical precepts supporting their hopes, but many of our patients are disappointed, occupying the positions staked out by Montaigne and Hazlitt.

In these notes, I will not make any wide references to the literature, but will confine my remarks to the experience of my patients, the significant collaborators in this attempt to understand the seeming fixity and rigidity of character and character traits. I will also, to paraphrase Freud, attempt to understand the “resistance to the uncovering of” character “resistances.”

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.