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Friedman, J.A. (2011). On the Bad, the Not-Bad and the Good. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 34(2):124-133.

(2011). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 34(2):124-133

On the Bad, the Not-Bad and the Good

John A. Friedman, Ph.D.

The author asserts that psychoanalysis has mistaken the neutralization of the bad - here called the “not-bad” - with the advent of the good. It is further argued that Freud himself contributed to this misunderstanding by offering two accounts of the good and bad. In the first, the bad is removed from the self and the good gained through incorporation and introjection; this is the well-known feeding model of the baby at the breast. In the second, Freud presents the good as bound up with the development of the ideal ego/ego ideal, that is, with the individual's narcissistic progression and development. It is argued that it is only in and through the presence of the Vorbild - here defined as the prototypical Human Figure with the primary elements of Face and Voice - that any infant can become organized around the ideal, effectively neutralize the bad, and persistently pursue the good.

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