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Schwartz-Salant, N. (1983). Comment on ‘Ego and Self: Terminology’ By J. W. T. Redfearn. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(2):111-114.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(2):111-114

Comment on ‘Ego and Self: Terminology’ By J. W. T. Redfearn Related Papers

Nathan Schwartz-Salant

Redfearn's Belief that Jungians must clarify their use of the terms ego and self, especially in light of the writings of Kohut and his followers, and the value of their clinical work on narcissistic disorders (p. 23), is well informed. However, his attempt does little, in my opinion, to set the stage for such a clarification because he attempts to separate ego and self too sharply into different entities. Thus we are told that Jacobson's terminology is more or less the opposite of Winnicott's as far as ego and self are concerned, and that neither Jacobson nor Fordham are consistent in their use of the word ‘self’ (p. 9). Kohut's conception of ‘self’ is held to approximate Jung's notion of ‘ego’ (p. 11 f). And the latter is said to be almost exactly the same as Winnicott's self and as the Hartmann-Kohut self (p. 13). In brief, Redfearn's essay attempts to sharply differentiate ego and self, in the usage of different writers, and in this method he is far from the spirit of Jung's approach to these concepts. Indeed, Redfearn forewarns us that I shall need to shorten and over-simplify to such a degree as to cause much pain to each reader. I shall need generosity from all (p. 3). I do not wish to be ungenerous, but his presentation of Jung's view of the ego, while existing in Jung's writings, severely violates the spirit in which Jung wrote, especially when reflecting upon the complexities of the relation between ego and self.

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