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Abend, S.M. (1981). Psychic Conflict and the Concept of Defense. Psychoanal Q., 50:67-76.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 50:67-76

Psychic Conflict and the Concept of Defense

Sander M. Abend, M.D.


Anna Freud's classic work, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence, is reassessed from the perspective of our current understanding of its place in the history of psychoanalytic theory. The subsequent development of the concept of defense is then traced, with emphasis on its relationship to psychic conflict. The role of both defense and conflict in normal and pathological behavior is stressed.

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