Ego Psychology and Communication : Theory for the Interview book cover
1st Edition

Ego Psychology and Communication
Theory for the Interview

ISBN 9780202363318
Published September 15, 2009 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

Writing in a lively straightforward tone and offering numerous examples, Polansky demonstrates that verbal communication plays a major role in mental health and is essential to preventing and curing emotional disorders. He shows why the inability to achieve effective speech reflects neurosis, interferes with self-healing potentials in the personality, and hampers patients in their efforts to make use of any of the talking therapies. He also makes clear how verbal expression leads to the growth of intimacy between people on a mature organized level and guards the individual against the existential anxiety of being completely alone in a potentially meaningless universe.

Synthesizing basic theory that underlies skilled interviewing, the book serves as an introduction to ego psychology. It offers an appraisal of the role of verbal communication, especially in casework, individual therapy, and counseling, as well as in most group treatments situations. The author covers such topics as the resiliency of the ego, the logic of defenses, coping mechanisms, and the theory of object relations. He provides numerous illustrations of specific security and distance maneuvers found in everyday practice. He also describes techniques for dealing with these maneuvers by patients in face-to-face situations.

This book is as vital to the field as when it first appeared in 1971. Polansky summarizes major concepts of modern ego psychology and relates them to what is known today about the process of verbal communication. It will be especially useful for those who seek to understand and treat the human personality through speech. Ego Psychology and Communication is designed for courses in social work, clinical psychology, educational counseling, guidance, and psychiatric nursing. Practitioners in social work, psychology, and psychiatry will find it to be a valuable addition to their personal reference libraries.

Table of Contents

1. Scientific Method and Ego Psychology
The Role of Theory
The Rule of Parsimony
Scientists are Human
Functions of the Ego
General Plan of the Book
2. Symptom and Defense
The Function of Defense
The Mechanisms of Defense
When Is a Symptom?
Implications of the Conception of Defense
Layers of Defense
3. Resilience and Energy in the Personality
The Case of the Rejected Suitor
Ego Strength and Psychic Energy
The Loss of Psychic Energy in Conflict and Defense
The Invasion of Ego Functions by Neurosis
The Synthetic Function of the Ego
Looseness of Ego Boundaries
External Supports Against Looseness
Protections Against Becoming Overwhelmed
Coping Mechanisms
4. Character as Personality Structure
A Traditional Characterology
The Oral Character
The Anal Character
The Obsessive-Compulsive Personality
Limitations in the Concept of Character
5. Familiar Character Formations
The Hysteric
Mixed Marriage
The Paranoid Character
The Depressive Character
Infantile Personalities
6. The Theory of Object Relations
Some Common Phenomena
A Developmental View
Separation Anxiety
The Paranoid Position
7. The Pursuit and Dread of Love
Dilemma for Our Time
The Schizoid Personality
Distance Maneuvers
The Delusion of Fusion
8. Verbal Accessibility
Accessibility to Treatment
Conceptual Definition
The Clinical Significance of Verbal Accessibility
Verbal Accessibility in Ego Development
Verbal Accessibility: Cause or Effect?
9. Verbal Accessibility and Character Structure
Stability in Time
Stability in Varying
Social Situations
Predictability from Other Knowledge of the Person
Verbal Accessibility Among Low-Income Rural Mothers
Fruitfulness of Verbal Accessibility for Prediction
Cultural Differences in Verbal Accessibility
Individual and Group Determinants of Verbal Inaccessibility
Familial Differences in Verbal Accessibility
Sex Differences in Verbal Accessibility
10. On Duplicity in the Interview
Duplicity in the Interview
Maneuvers to Evade Responsibility
Maneuvers to Retain Control
11. Ego Functions in Psychodrama
Structure of Psychodrama in Our Hospital
The Aim in Each Session, 268 Psychodrama for Affect Discharge
Clarification and Insight
Dealing with Unintegrated Internalized Objects
Transitory Regressions
12. Verbal Communication and Healing
Verbal Inaccessibility Reflects Ego Weakness
Healing Properties of Verbal Communication
Name Index
Subject Index

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