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Michels, R. (1986). Oedipus and Insight. Psychoanal Q., 55:599-617.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:599-617

Oedipus and Insight

Robert Michels, M.D.


Insight is a core concept in psychoanalytic theory. The Oedipus myth has been a central metaphor in the evolution of psychoanalytic theory, particularly the psychoanalytic theory of development. Similarly, Sophocles' drama, its relation to the myth, and its repeated reinterpretation throughout the ages provide a valuable metaphor for our understanding of the role of insight in psychoanalysis and in development. We may have underestimated the importance of insight in normal development while oversimplifying its significance as an agent of therapeutic change.

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