Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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

Balter, L. (1977). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 46:182-183.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:182-183

Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Leon Balter


The author discussed the psychological effects of growing old upon the psychoanalyst and his working relations with his patients.

Aging produces an accretion of narcissism. If it concentrates within the superego or ego-ideal, the analyst becomes more rigid, compulsive, and intolerant in his practice (and subject to involutional depression). If the narcissistic accretion concentrates in the analyst's ego, he will expect the patient's admiration, awe, and respect. Obviously, both attitudes will interfere with the patient's analytic work and the analyzability of his transference. If, however, the narcissistic accretion is evenly distributed over the personality (and aided by diminution of id pressure and thus, of conflict), superego and ego will be more harmonious. This will allow the analyst greater toleration of the patient's illness, reduce therapeutic ambition, and produce greater acceptance of the patient's humanity.

Aging decreases a tendency toward activity and increases desire for knowledge and insight. This brings about a more proper analytic stance toward the patient's resistances—particularly when successful analysis reaches a deep paranoid level in the patient. As aging produces increased recall of childhood, the aging analyst may have more empathy for the childhood of the patient as it returns in the analysis.

With aging, death becomes a problem of life.

[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 © 2019, 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.