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(1983). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 52:494-496.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:494-496

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

January 4, 1982. THE SCHEMA: BASIC CONCEPT IN A NON-METAPSYCHOLOGICAL MODEL OF THE MIND. Joseph W. Slap, M.D. and Andrew J. Saykin, M.S.

Mr. Saykin and Dr. Slap offered a model of psychic structure intended to clarify and simplify other formulations that have preceded it, i.e., those that suggest that "experience with reality, including external objects, results in structure building and other changes within the mind." Common to these other formulations are such mechanisms of ego building as: Freud's (and followers') identification, incorporation, introjection, internalization; Nunberg's synthetic function; Kernberg's metabolizing of parental images; and Kohut's transmuting internalizations. The authors hoped that their formulation, which draws heavily on the work of George Klein and Piaget, will encompass these concepts and move toward placing psychoanalysis "within general psychology in distinction from earlier attempts to make psychoanalysis into general psychology." Their basic organizing concept is the schema. Borrowing from Bartlett, they defined schemas as active organizations of past reactions or experiences, both perceptual and behavioral, which operate as associated and integrated entities. Organizations of memories, fantasies, affects, and modes of response, such as the "repressed unconscious," meet the definition of schema. Smaller units of the mind would constitute schemata. As an example of the latter, they cited Schafer's concept of "'discrepant suborganizations of the personality' [such as] the fetishist knowing and not knowing the anatomical distinction of the sexes… Schemata can exist as 'antagonistic organizations of motives, mental processes and representations.

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