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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

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.

Rubins, J.L. (1961). The Self-Concept, Identity, and Alienation from Self. Am. J. Psychoanal., 21(2):132-142.

(1961). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 21(2):132-142

The Self-Concept, Identity, and Alienation from Self

Jack L. Rubins, M.D.

The Beginnings of neurotic development are generally attributed to disturbances of childhood growth, disturbances which affect the formation and organization of the self. The various psychoanalytic theories differ in their emphasis on the factors involved in the child, in its environment, or in the relationship between the two.

The thesis presented in this paper is that characteristic developmental changes of the self occur during the maturative growth of the young child, along with and parallel to neurotic development. I believe that these two processes intertwine and mutually modify each other in certain definable ways. While a holistic theory of neurosis may satisfactorily explain the driving forces, the motivational processes, and the form of the neurotic personality, the explanation of many particular aspects can best be found in modifying influences of this early self-development.

I have previously tried to point out that different conceptions of the self among the various analytic schools derive from functional principles.1 Now it has become evident that consideration of the growing self must also take into account certain differences with the adult. In the adult the self we deal with at any specific moment represents the confluence of two dimensions of experience. First is the historical or longitudinal, with the newborn infant and the mature adult at the two extremes. Second is the dimension of immediate experience in the here-and-now, the horizontal, with the internal and the external world as the two limits.

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