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Hägglund, T. Piha, H. (1980). The Inner Space of the Body Image. Psychoanal Q., 49:256-283.

(1980). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 49:256-283

The Inner Space of the Body Image

Tor-Björn Hägglund, M.D. and Heikki Piha, M.D.


In a review of the psychoanalytic literature the authors show that throughout life the ego structure and identity of an individual are founded to a significant degree on the sensations and awareness of the body. It is suggested that psychic processes primarily evolve from cathecting biological events, of which the quality of rhythm seems to be most important. Each of the erogenous zones has its own inner space which is integrated into the body image and the body self as the child grows. The authors introduce the idea of the inner space of speech, voice, and respiration developing concurrently with the erogenous inner spaces. The most highly developed form is the adult genital inner space and its sublimated derivatives which form the basis for the biological creativity of begetting offspring and the psychic creativity of begetting original ideas.

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