IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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processing and integrating agent in the psyche and is responsible for one’s experiential end- states . Erlich’s contribution is in the same line as Bion’s assumption of alpha and beta elements in psychical function. Bion introduced the notion of an alpha-function, whose task is ‘to convert sense data into alpha-elements and … provide the psyche with the material for dream thoughts … the capacity to wake up or go to sleep, to be conscious or unconscious …’ (Bion 1967, p. 115). As suggested above, these theoretical contributions can be regarded as indirectly representing transformative ego-functions or ego-activity. III. D. DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING LATIN AMERICA Latin American psychoanalysis overall developed from the intertwining of strong Freudian and British Object Relations tradition and their various elaborations in the work of post-Freudian and post-Kleinian theorists in North America and Europe, prominently including French psychoanalytic authors. As it pertains to the post-World War II era of Latin American psychoanalysis, the immigration movement from Europe to the United States and from Europe to South America, divided the sphere of influence of Ego Psychology and British Object Relations theories. Specifically, ‘American Ego Psychology’, coming from the United States (as opposed to Europe), has been juxtaposed to the British Object Relations theories. In addition, notable bi-polarities also exist between the French and Anglo-Saxon influences in the development of psychoanalysis in Latin America in general (Roudinesco 2000), which subsequently influenced the reception and evolution of Ego Psychology in the region. Due to the translational lag and criticism coming from both the Kleinian and French psychoanalytic traditions, Ego Psychology theoretical interest in a psychic surface and preconscious phenomena was misunderstood and confused with cognitive behavioral theory, which would make it void of libidinal aspects, unconscious fantasy and subjectivity. Consequently, theoretical and cultural controversies notwithstanding, sometimes the matter is more the term ‘Ego Psychology’ itself, which is not popular in Latin America, rather than the actual conceptual framework and clinical approach. III. Da. Early Developments and Influences In Latin America, Ego Psychology’s theory’s historical beginning can be traced to Freud`s studies of ego throughout his oeuvre, infantile sexuality, narcissism, group psychology, the structural theory of “The Ego and the ID” (1923) and that of “Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety” (1926). Degree of knowledge and familiarity with Anna Freud ´s “Mechanisms of Defense (1936), Heinz Hartmann `s “The Ego and the Problem of Adaptation” (1939/1958) and David Rappaport’s “Organization and psychopathology of thought” (1951), providing a


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