IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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and gender assumptions; overemphasis of the Oedipus complex; experience distant and impersonal interpretations; defences being confronted rather than analysed; trauma not taken in consideration; psychoanalysis as a general psychology is an overreach: adaptation cannot be elucidated from a purely psychoanalytic point of view, it involves data from other disciplines. Hartmann’s writing style was exceedingly complex, difficult to read and easy to mis- read. According to Nancy Chodorow (2004), the British object relational, French and other critics’ claim that North American Ego psychologists no longer believed in the unconscious or the drives, “(mis) read Hartmann’s (1939/1958) ‘Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation’ as advocating a person’s adjustment to a sick society rather than as an attempt to rethink ‘On the Two Principles of Mental Functioning’ through the structural theory…” (Chodorow, 2004, p. 214). ‘Hartmann’s era’ (Bergmann, 2000) Ego Psychology was, for most part, not widely accepted outside the United States. Additional complicated reasons may have to do with the reception of the manner in which the communication of the ideas, not just the ideas themselves, came across, influenced by subjective factors, e.g., André Greene’s (2000) “…the wide success of Hartmann was linked to …the Americans being convinced of their superiority” (ibid, p. 106). European Perspective: The departure of many leading psychoanalytic figures trained in Vienna and Berlin psychoanalytic institutes for United States spelled the relative decline of what was the ‘cutting edge’ of psychoanalysis at the time (1940s-1960s) and for the several following decades. Yet this deficiency contributed to the flourishing of other psychoanalytic orientations and directions in Europe, mainly of drive-based object relations of Melanie Klein and experiential dimensions of self and other of Donald Winnicott. A notable exception is the work of Anna Freud in London, followed and further developed by Joseph and Anne-Marie Sandler, among others (Hoffer, 1949, 1950a, 1950b). After Sigmund Freud’s death in 1939, the further development of psychoanalysis in general and Ego Psychology in particular was shaped by geographical centers and political lines of demarcation, including immigration, travel for personal analysis, the advent of the Iron Curtain, and so forth. In line with the historical approach of Sigmund Freud in “Two encyclopaedia articles” (Freud, 1923a), Otto Fenichel’s historical-contextual statement: “The history of psychoanalysis brought it about that we became acquainted with the unconscious before the conscious and with the repressed before the ego. Nowadays the psychology of the ego stands in the center of our investigations” (Fenichel 1935, p. 348), delineates Ego Psychology as a phase of the theory development. Viewed as a necessary phase within the overarching work done by Freud in his attempt to define the ways of working of the unconscious, Ego Psychology was to meet the need to


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