Ego Psychology

Fourth Year Adult Psychoanalytic Training (APT)
2021-22, 1st Trimester — Fridays, 3:30-5:00pm
Martin Bullard, LICSW
Joel Martell, PhD


“Ego Psychology” is a theory of mind concerned with negotiations between somatic experience and demands of the external world.  As such it offers much to undertaking and articulating psychoanalytic processes.


Learning Objectives

After taking this course, participants will be able to understand and employ clinically the following ego psychological techniques and correspondences in clinical psychoanalysis:

  1. The five viewpoints necessary for understanding a mental event
  2. Defense & Resistance
  3. Body and Ego Development
  4. The Infantile & Transference Neurosis matrix
  5. The “Adaptive Point of View”
  6. Transference & the Frame

September 10, 2021 — Contemporary Frameworks

[9 pages]

Introductions, orientation to the ego dimension in clinical work.

Pine, F. (2020). On Observation, Theory, and the Mind of the Working Clinician. Psychoanal. Psychol., 37(2):89-97

September 17, 2021 — Historical Context

[10 pages]

Topographic Model & Structural Models of the Mind.

Rapaport, D. & Gill, M.M. (1959). The Points of View and Assumptions of Metapsychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:153-162.

September 24, 2021 — The Body & The Drives:

[15 pages]

Ego Development:  On Loving ( Libido) / On Working (Aggression)

Zamanian, K. (2011). Attachment Theory as Defense: What Happened to Infantile Sexuality?. Psychoanal. Psychol., 28(1):33-47.

October 1, 2021 — From Primary to Secondary Process

Martin’s Case: “From Primary to Secondary Process – a fragile ego at work”

October 8, 2021 — Oedipus & The Infantile Neurosis

Solms, M. – Revision of the Theory of the Oedipus Complex (Unpublished)

The password to open this PDF is:


October 15, 2021 — The Defenses

[14 pages]

Perry, J.C. & Bond, M. (2017). Addressing Defenses in Psychotherapy to Improve Adaptation. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(3):153-166

October 22, 2021 — The Adaptive Point of View

[16 pages]

Hollander, N.C. (2017). Who Is the Sufferer and What Is Being Suffered? Subjectivity in Times of Social Malaise.  Psychoanalytic Dial., 27(6):635-650

October 29, 2021 — Compromise Formation

[21 pages]

Abend, S.M. (2005). Analyzing Intrapsychic Conflict: Compromise Formation as an Organizing Principle. Psychoanal Q., 74(1):5-25.

November 5, 2021 — Therapeutic Action

[26 pages]

Therapeutic Alliance & Transference Neurosis / Developmental & Analytic Object

Abend, S.M. (2007). Therapeutic Action in Modern Conflict Theory. Psychoanal Quarterly, 76s:1417-1442

November 12, 2021 — Technique, Neutrality and The Frame

[14 pages]

Gray, P. (1990). The Nature of Therapeutic Action in Psychoanalysis. JAPA, 38:1083-1096.

November 19, 2021 — Interpretation

[27 pages]

Joel’s Case – “Addiction treatment from a multi-modal ego perspective”

Busch, F. (1996). The Ego and Its Significance In Analytic Interventions. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:1073-1099