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Friedman, L.J. (1953). Defensive Aspects of Orality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 34:304-312.

(1953). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34:304-312

Defensive Aspects of Orality

Lawrence J. Friedman, M.D.

The final goal of libido development is a guilt-and-anxiety-free functioning on the genital level. We all know of the vicissitudes in the development of the libido from earliest orality to full maturity. Every phase in this development influences the succeeding one. Conflicts in every phase may become points of fixation, serving later as points of regression. The last obstacle to the attainment of the final goal is the oedipus complex. Without satisfactory solution of this final phase, guilt- and anxiety-free functioning is inconceivable. The purpose of this paper is to re-emphasize the importance of the oedipus complex in the etiology of neuroses and to point out, as far as possible from clinical material, to what extent pre-genital phases of libido development may be retroactively influenced and distorted by later ones, and by the oedipus complex in particular.

From the very beginnings of psycho-analysis the oedipus complex has been the source of most acute controversies both between analysts and non-analysts and among analysts themselves. Unquestionably some of the schisms which have occurred in the history of psycho-analysis have had their basis in the inability of many to accept the oedipus complex or the total concept of the libido theory.

Many papers have been published giving us valuable information about the early phases of libido development and especially orality, but it seems to me that much is lost by the tendency to place the emphasis on these otherwise valuable observations as if they represented the cardinal point of the particular neurosis.

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