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Brenner, C. (1950). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 19:623.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:623

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Charles Brenner


After indicating the broad scope of Dr. Federn's writings, Dr. Weiss outlined his contributions to ego psychology, the field of his most original and extensive investigations. He started from a definition of the ego as a continuous, subjective 'feeling of unity in regard to continuity, contiguity, and causality of … experiences'. This feeling is a datum, not at present explainable. In addition Dr. Federn postulated a specific ego cathexis (energy at the disposal of the ego) compounded of libido and the energy of the death instinct. He distinguished an active, passive, reflexive and medical cathexis, disturbances in the last resulting in depression and self-destruction. Dr. Weiss considered the concept of ego boundary one of Dr. Federn's most important contributions. By means of it he explained, among other things, the phenomena of the perception of reality, and various phenomena of sleep. Dr. Weiss also discussed Dr. Federn's views on identification, depersonalization and other disturbances in the sense of reality in mental illness, and the impairment of abstract thinking in schizophrenia. He closed with a brief review of some of the important therapeutic procedures dictated by Dr. Federn's concepts, especially in the therapy of the psychoses.

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