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De La Torre, J. (1993). El Superyo En La Teoria Y En La Pratica Psicoanaliticas: By Cesar Garza Guerrero. Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidos, 1989, 434 pp., $45.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:866-870.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:866-870

El Superyo En La Teoria Y En La Pratica Psicoanaliticas: By Cesar Garza Guerrero. Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidos, 1989, 434 pp., $45.00.

Review by:
Jorge De La Torre, M.D.

Freud formally introduced the superego as a major component of his tripartite model of the mind in 1923, but our understanding of its origin and function has been much more neglected and undeveloped than that of the ego. Although the "oedipal superego" has received some attention as the heir of the Oedipus conflict with its importance in the formation and resolution of neurotic conflicts, the psychoanalytic literature has not shown an equal interest in its preoedipal precursors. The relation, for example, between the superego and the ego ideal as two subsystems of a larger whole or as elements in a hierarchical sequence is still a subject of controversy. A notable exception to this neglect, of course, lies with the object-relations theorists, particularly Melanie Klein. The serious changes psychoanalysis has been undergoing during the last two decades, however, has now made the continued neglect of the superego impossible. In this country, the widening scope of psychoanalysis has increasingly included many more highly disturbed patients than in past years. In contrast, the somewhat fictitious and exaggerated image of the "typically neurotic patient" we have so often read about in the literature seems to be increasingly rare in the consulting room. In light of this, it has become necessary for us to reevaluate some of our theoretical views.

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