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Beratis, S. (1988). The Personal Myth as a Defence Against Internal Primitive Aggression. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:475-482.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:475-482

The Personal Myth as a Defence Against Internal Primitive Aggression

Stavroula Beratis


On the basis of clinical material, it is hypothesized that the personal myth is formed gradually, following a developmental process from early body sensations to screen sensations, to visual screen memories, to verbal thoughts and, finally, to the formation of the personal myth. This sequence corresponds to the successive development of mental processing in human thought. It is suggested that the personal myth, being a symbolic creation, may function in a manner similar to transitional objects, thereby facilitating the separation-individuation process.

Also, it is proposed that the latent content of the personal myth pertains to traumatic experiences and conflictual wishes related to either or both the oedipal and the pre-oedipal phase of development. When pre-oedipal elements predominate, the individual's personality is characterized by more primitive self-object representations, intense separation anxiety and a greater degree of unneutralized aggression.

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