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Olinick, S.L. Poland, W.S. Grigg, K.A. Granatir, W.L. (1973). The Psychoanalytic Work Ego: Process and Interpretation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:143-151.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:143-151

The Psychoanalytic Work Ego: Process and Interpretation

Stanley L. Olinick, Warren S. Poland, Kenneth A. Grigg and William L. Granatir


1. The primary data of the work ego are the processes of the analyst as they parallel those of the patient.

2. The work ego operates relatively autonomously.

3. The work ego exercises diatrophic functions.

4. The work ego within the therapeutic alliance regresses with and observes the patient and itself, thus enabling the paralleling of processes.

5. The work ego responds to its own regression as a signal. The degree of tolerable regression varies; it is monitored and controlled by the diatrophic functions and in turn by aspects of the superegoego-ideal systems. Mastered regression is in the service of the work ego's function of empathy.

6. The work ego is motivated and trained to seek knowledge of the other person by means of empathic regression in the service of the other. The analyst through his work ego has learned to experience his own internal and internalized processes as a way of learning about the other.

7. The verbal intervention of the analyst represents a final common pathway of the work ego in its multiple functions of scanning and collating the primary data, evaluating and mastering its own regression in the service of empathy, and reintegrating itself through those functions that have come to be called the therapeutic alliance.

8. We have attempted to define a unitary model of the intrapsychic and interpersonal processes involved in certain functions of the work ego.

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