Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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

Brenner, C. (1968). Archaic Features of Ego Functioning. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:426-429.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:426-429

Archaic Features of Ego Functioning

Charles Brenner


The aspect of normal ego functioning that has received the most attention in recent years in the psychoanalytic literature is that which represents the differences between the functioning of the child and the adult. Granting that these differences are of great importance, it is equally important to bear in mind the degree to which the adult resembles the child. To a great extent, later acquisitions in mental life do not supersede earlier ones. Often they hardly seem to alter them. Instead, the two exist side by side. The objects of the external world are important to a

child, and to his developing ego functions, principally as sources of pleasure or pain, and they remain so, by and large, to the adult. A realistic view of the world, a concern for logic and consistency, pragmatism, the so-called scientific outlook on life, all seem much less related to an inherent ego need or tendency for integration, lack of contradiction, etc., than they are to the operation of the pleasure principle: to a desire for instinctual, often narcissistic, gratification and to an aversion from anxiety, guilt, and shame.

[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.