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Hendrick, I. (1938). “The Ego and the Defense Mechanisms”: A Review and Discussion. Psychoanal. Rev., 25(4):476-497.

(1938). Psychoanalytic Review, 25(4):476-497

“The Ego and the Defense Mechanisms”: A Review and Discussion

Ives Hendrick, M.D.

I. Review

In Inhibition, Symptom, and Anxiety, published in 1923, Sigmund Freud modified his previous conclusion that neurotic anxiety is ‘always’ a transformation of sexual energy. He defined the principle which has subsequently been accepted by psychoanalysts, that anxiety serves as a signal to the Ego of the activity of instinctual demands which have previously led to painful consequences, and he demonstrated the primary rôle of anxiety in the chain of events which end in phobias, conversion hysterias, and obsessions. This was the beginning of the special interest of psychoanalysts for the last fifteen years in those defense-mechanisms which protect the Ego from the experience of excessive anxiety, and their rôle in the normal development of the individual as well as in his pathological traits and symptoms.

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