Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see papers related to the one you are viewing…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are articles or videos related to the one you are viewing, you will see a related papers icon next to the title, like this: RelatedPapers32Final3For example:


Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are related (including the current one). Related papers may be papers which are commentaries, responses to commentaries, erratum, and videos discussing the paper. Since they are not part of the original source material, they are added by PEP editorial staff, and may not be marked as such in every possible case.


For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Freud, A. (1968). Acting Out. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:165-170.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:165-170

Acting Out

Anna Freud

Analytic Concepts and their Fate

When the Programme Committee for the Copenhagen Congress selected "Acting Out" as the subject for its main Symposium, it joined the ranks of those who are concerned with the history of psychoanalytic concepts in general and interested to trace the vicissitudes of their individual fates in detail. Varied as these fates are, it is not impossible to single out some distinctive trends and pursue them through the theoretical, clinical, and technical literature.

There are some terms and concepts without which psychoanalysis could not have done in its beginnings since they served to convey meaning in a simple manner to a public otherwise unprepared for the new findings. An example of this was the idea of complexes, an expression used to designate any cluster of drive-derivatives, thought-representations and affects, rooted in the unconscious, and from there giving rise to anxiety, defensive manoeuvres and/or character distortions and symptom-formations. This was a convenient way of describing, as it were in psychological shorthand, whatever people suffered from as a father complex, mother complex, guilt complex, inferiority complex, etc. Eventually, the very umbrella nature of the term militated against its usefulness and with increasing knowledge it was split up into a number of more precise notions, such as dependency (of the infant on the mother); internal conflict (between the agencies of the mind); severity of the superego (guilt feelings); depression; penis envy; etc.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.