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Modern Structural Theory

September 13, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 3:30 pm on Friday, repeating until November 22, 2019

Second Year Adult Psychoanalytic Training (APT)
2019-20, 1st Trimester — Fridays, 3:30-5:00pm
Donald Schimmel, PhD
Babs Glover, MA LMHC

View Syllabus

Overview of Ego Psychology and Anna Freud

Before beginning the first week’s reading, please read the overview of the course and the learning objectives for the course.

Wallerstein, R.S. (2002). The Growth and Transformation of American Ego Psychology. JAPA, 50(1):135-168. 

In this paper, Robert S. Wallerstein presents an historical overview of ego psychology and its transformation from a mostly structural and intrapsychic model to a set of modern theories that incorporate interpersonal and relational dimensions.  This is an important article as it outlines much of what we’ll be discussing in the bulk of this course.  While many of the names and concepts may be unfamiliar to you, they will be repeated and illustrated throughout the course.  Read it broadly as a preview of coming attractions or as a road map for the next several weeks, with a plan to understand it in greater depth as the course proceeds.   Begin to acquaint yourself with the development of ego psychological thinking and the streams of emerging psychoanalytic thought that Wallerstein describes as “cracks in the monolith” of ego psychology’s hegemony in America.

Freud, A. (1946). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, International Universities Press, New York. Chapter 1, pp3-10.

Freud, A. (1946). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, International Universities Press, New York. Chapter 5, pp54-65. 

This is Anna Freud’s first major contribution to psychoanalytic theory.  Her book is considered by many to be the cornerstone of Ego Psychology.  Building on her father’s late-career work, she laid the foundations for the systematic study of defenses and their development with ego psychology.  Drawing on her direct observation of children and her experiences in child analysis, Anna Freud places defense, and the experience of danger, within a developmental context.  She sets out a general theory of technique and defense analysis.  Attention is focused on recognizing and interpreting the various ways in which the patient’s ego defends itself against forbidden wishes.

Optional Reading

We will not be discussing this article in class, but the term and the concept of Developmental Lines is one you will likely encounter again later in training.


September 13, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


(206) 328-5315


4020 E Madison St, #230
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(206) 328-5315