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Peto, A. (1964). Variations of Archaic Thinking in Neurotics, Borderline Patients, and Schizophrenics. Psychoanal. St. Child, 19:73-92.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 19:73-92

Variations of Archaic Thinking in Neurotics, Borderline Patients, and Schizophrenics

Andrew Peto, M.D.


Observations during regressive phases of the transference in neurotics, borderline cases, and schizophrenics led to assumptions about certain aspects of the development of archaic thinking. The four points of departure for the hypothesis presented are the following:

1. Freud's primary and secondary model of thinking in general, and the concept of the positive hallucinatory image in particular.

2. Negative hallucination (Freud, Hoffer) or, in metapsychological terms, archaic denial as a "prestage of defense" (A. Freud, Fenichel).

3. Hartmann's theory of autonomous ego functions, and in particular those aspects of it that relate to the psychology of the thought processes.

4. The fragmentizing function of the ego (Peto), assuming that there is an ego function which aims at the extreme splintering of mental representations. It precedes the various defense mechanisms and prepares those changes in the nature of mental energy which are conceptualized as neutralizations.


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