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Freud, A. (1952). The Mutual Influences in the Development of Ego and Id—Introduction to the Discussion. Psychoanal. St. Child, 7:42-50.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 7:42-50

The Mutual Influences in the Development of Ego and Id—Introduction to the Discussion

Anna Freud

In the introduction to his paper Heinz Hartmann stresses the point that the topic of the Mutual Influences in the Development of Ego and Id is so vast and all-important that the speakers to the symposium had better abandon the ambition to survey the problems in an objective manner and content themselves with offering their own personal avenues of approach to the subject. It seems to me that the speakers in the discussion have to claim the same privilege. The papers which make up this symposium are so comprehensive in their content, so closely argued and so well constructed that the discussion can do no more than concentrate on certain points, omit many others, i.e., select from the topics for further elaboration what is relevant for the personal outlook and interest of each contributor.

The relations between ego and id and the metapsychological exploration of their interdependence may well be used as a heading which covers more or less the whole psychoanalytic theory. According to the main clinical problems in any given period of analytic development, various theoretical aspects of these interrelations came into the foreground of discussions. Such aspects were: the contributions made from the side of ego and id (or rather by the systems Cs and Ucs, the qualitative concepts which preceded the structural ones) to the construction of a neurotic symptom; the part played by both in the infantile neurosis and in character formation; the intermingling of elements from both sides in the defense processes; the struggle between them for the control of function, illustrated by such contrasting processes as sexualization and sublimation; and their determining role in the perfection of an analytic technique which has to explore both sides of the personality, either simultaneously or in alternating phases.

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