Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Propagation to Quantum electrodynamics (QED) » Psychoanalysis - Overview, Psychoanalytic Theory Of Mind, Infantile Sexuality And The Oedipus Complex, Later Revisions: Mourning, Narcissism, And The Beginnings Of Object Relations

Psychoanalysis - Later Revisions: The Structural Theory

ego object unconscious relations

In 1923, in the wake of his revisions of the theory of instincts on the one hand, and of object relations on the other, Freud published The Ego and the Id, and with it sharply revised his original theory of the mind. In his new model, commonly called the "structural theory," Freud introduced three new agencies—ego ("I"), id ("It"), and superego ("Over-I")—to represent intrapsychic mental functioning. The ego referred to the self, as the executive agency of the psychic system, governed by the secondary process, and responsible for conscious thought, fantasy, defense, and symptom formation. The id was the realm of the unconscious processes and thoughts, governed by the instincts (libido and aggression) and the primary process. The superego represented the conscience, the critical (and also loving) internal representation of one's parents or caregivers that was the internalized legacy of the repression of the Oedipus complex. These new agencies reflected the increased prominence of object relations and the pervasive nature of conflict in the system, and a recognition that the essential goal of psychoanalysis was not merely to make the unconscious conscious, but to bring instinctual impulses under the sway of the ego.

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