1st Edition

Ego Psychology and Communication Theory for the Interview

By Norman Polansky Copyright 1971
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    Norman Polansky