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Modern Structural Theory
September 20, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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
Early Ego Psychology
Hartmann, H. (1950). Comments on the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Ego. PSC, 5:74-96.
Rangell, L. (1965). The Scope of Heinz Hartmann—Some Selected Comments on his Essays on Ego Psychology an Appreciative Survey on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday, IJP, 46:5-30.
Heinz Hartmann was the leading North American Freudian/Ego Psychological theorist of the 1940s and 50s. He produced a series of theoretical and clinical works that provided the framework for American ego psychology from the 40s through the 70s. Hartmann aimed to develop psychoanalysis in to a “general psychology,” one that would account not only for neurotic psychopathology but for “normal” psychology and the healthy ego as well.
In pursuit of this goal, the ego psychologists added considerably to Freud’s model of the mind. New concepts introduced included the self, the conflict-free sphere, and the adaptive functions of the ego. Alongside Freud’s libidinal and aggressive drives Hartmann proposed what he called “primary neutral energy” as a motivational force driving non-conflictual behavior and experience, and he suggested that intrasystemic conflict as well as conflict among the three psychic structures played an important role in the life of the mind.
During this week we will also consider the analytic diaspora from Europe and the impact of ethnic trauma and sociocultural context on the development of American psychoanalytic thought. Emily Kuriloff, who spoke at SPSI last spring, has published a powerful book on this topic, entitled, “Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third Reich” (Routledge, 2014).