Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To refine search by publication year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Having problems finding an article? Writing the year of its publication in Search for Words or Phrases in Context will help narrow your search.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Some Guidelines in Evaluating the Concept of Identification. Jean Begoin. Pp. 483-490.. Psychoanal Q., 59:164-165.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Some Guidelines in Evaluating the Concept of Identification. Jean Begoin. Pp. 483-490.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:164-165

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Some Guidelines in Evaluating the Concept of Identification. Jean Begoin. Pp. 483-490.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Identification is a concept that raises many questions in psychoanalysis, both for technique and theory. In particular, questions arise about the level at which the mechanisms of identification operate in the course of the analytic process. Another important issue is whether identification or the object relation comes first. In Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego Freud made statements that seem paradoxical to us today, first that identification is "the earliest expression of an emotional tie with another person," and then that this "kind of tie is … possible before any sexual object-choice has been made." To understand this, we must understand to what point the theory had been developed in 1921 when this was written, and its relationship to the structural theory introduced in The Ego and the Id in 1923. In the latter work we find Freud's more advanced thinking on the question of identification. There,

- 164 -

identification is explicitly and definitively linked to renunciation of the incestuous sexual object, with resulting transformation of the ego through introjection of this object. This links identification and object relations, rather than making them opposites. The model for introjection in this work is the same as that in Mourning and Melancholia. But there are sharp differences. Melancholia comes about from a failure of the mourning process—there is introjection, but of a sort that destroys the ego, which is unable to assimilate the introject. Freud thus came to speak of two principal modes of identification: a narcissistic one, which implies a confusion of identity between subject and object, and a secondary one, which is based upon a successful mourning process. The renunciation of narcissistic identification in favor of introjective identification is one of the principal economic problems encountered in the course of psychological development. There are two principal obstacles to this renunciation of narcissistic identification and the completion of a successful mourning process. One is the intensity of separation anxiety, which may be so great that mourning is prevented. Klein's work on projective identification provided an appropriate theoretical structure to deal with narcissistic identification. Winnicott in his concept of "holding" emphasized the quality of the mother-child relationship, as did Bion in his conceptualization of the first relationship in terms of the container and the contained.

- 165 -

Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 59:164-165

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.