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Ticho, E.A. Richards, A.D. (1982). Psychoanalytic Theories of the Self. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 30:717-733.

(1982). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 30:717-733

Psychoanalytic Theories of the Self

Ernst A. Ticho, Ph.D. and Arnold D. Richards, M.D.

Ernst A. Ticho presented the opening paper, "The Alternate Schools and the Self." In accord with his belief that the study of "alternate" schools of psychoanalysis is relevant to the evaluation of new psychoanalytic therapeutic approaches, Ticho discussed the approaches to the self of the schools of Adler, Jung, Horney, and Sullivan. Although their definitions of self vary considerably, these schools all emphasize the importance of the subjective, living, creative, experiencing, spontaneous aspects of the psyche in their theories, and criticize what they consider Freud's fragmenting and mechanistic approach to the self. They stress the unity of the self, its indivisibility (Adler) and individuation (Jung). In general, these theories share an optimistic and inspirational orientation with strong moralistic overtones. As a result of stressing the creative self and the meaning and purpose of life, Adler, Jung, and Horney all opposed theories (like Freud's) that stressed inner conflict. Nonsexual meanings were emphasized at the expense of sexual meanings, and the dynamic unconscious was either downplayed, forgotten (Adler), or subordinated to the collective unconscious (Jung). For the alternate schools, synthesis proved more important than analysis. Freud, on the other hand, did not find it necessary to undertake a special synthesis after analysis; for him the unity of the self was, so to speak, self-understood. It should be noted, of course, that Freud's perspective antedates the "widening scope of psychoanalysis" and recent work with more regressed patients.


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