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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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(1967). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Ego Autonomy Re-evaluated. Robert R. Holt. Pp. 151-167.. Psychoanal Q., 36:316-317.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Ego Autonomy Re-evaluated. Robert R. Holt. Pp. 151-167.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:316-317

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965: Ego Autonomy Re-evaluated. Robert R. Holt. Pp. 151-167.

It is tricky to decide in any particular behavior whether the ego is autonomous or not. For instance, automatic opposition to a drive impulse by an ego defense is considered autonomy of the ego from the id. Yet here the ego does not wield anticathectic force out of realistic consideration but primarily in response to the drive itself or to the superego. As Erikson has stated, 'A system must have its utopia. For psychoanalysis (that is, for id psychology) the ideal is "genitality".' For ego psychology it would appear to be autonomy, a slogan emblazoned on the banner of ego psychologists in their struggle against the excesses of traditional id-oriented thinking. What is needed at present is detailed consideration of the complex interactions between external inputs, endogenous inputs, and the structure of the psychic apparatus itself. Such explanatory

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concepts should eventually make the descriptive, evaluative concept of autonomy take a relatively minor role in psychoanalytic theory.

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Article Citation

(1967). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLVI, 1965. Psychoanal. Q., 36:316-317

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