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.
Ginsburg, S.A. (1992). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991: Idealization and the Holding of Ideals. Anna M. Antonovsky. Pp. 389-404.. Psychoanal Q., 61:511.
Welcome to PEP Web!
Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.
If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.
If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991: Idealization and the Holding of Ideals. Anna M. Antonovsky. Pp. 389-404.
Idealization is different from, though under optimal conditions it may lead to, the holding of ideals. The latter implies a capability for "delay, control, neutralization, symbolization and sublimation." In "On Narcissism," Freud stated that the ego ideal develops as a result of the frustration that leads to the awakening of the reality principle. He added that the existence of the ego ideal may, but does not always, lead to such structure-building psychic work as sublimation.
Edith Jacobson and Melanie Klein, each from her own theoretical perspective, described the maturation process that may set the stage for the holding of ideals. Jacobson conceptualized a "disillusionment crisis"; its positive resolution is crucial for further development—helplessness and yearning for fusion gradually giving way to mature object relations and ego defenses. These, in turn, provide the capability for the development of ideals. Klein, in her elaboration of Freud's concept of the death instinct, theorized how idealization may be utilized as a defense against aggression. This defense may be resolved through traversing the "depressive position." The resolution provides the groundwork for the holding of ideals.
Freud's Moses and Monotheism is used as a metaphoric clinical example to show the "going from idealization to the holding of ideals, mediated by ego development and the depressive position." Freud hypothesized that Moses was a follower of the monotheist Akhenaten and that he kept the latter's ideals even though most of his countrymen abandoned them. Moses then left Egypt with a band of followers. However, even though their narcissism was flattered by being chosen by the nobleman Moses, his followers could not live up to his ideals and eventually rebelled. Over the generations after Moses, however, they developed further, and their descendants integrated "elements of Mosaic religion into" their primitive beliefs.
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. - 511 -