Toward a Unified Psychoanalytic Theory
Foundation in a Revised and Expanded Ego Psychology
This book aims to integrate different psychoanalytic schools and relevant research findings into an integrated psychoanalytic theory of the mind.
A main claim explored here, is that a revised and expanded ego psychology constitutes the strongest foundation not only for a unified psychoanalytic theory, but also for the integration of relevant research findings from other disciplines. Sophisticated yet accessible, the book includes a description of the basic tenets of ego psychology and necessary correctives and revisions. It also discusses research and theory on interpersonal understanding, capacity for inhibition, defense, delay of gratification, autonomous ego aims and motives, affect regulation, the nature of psychopathology; and the implications of a revised and expanded ego psychology for approaches to treatment.
The book will appeal to readers who are interested in psychoanalysis, the nature of the mind, the nature of psychopathology, and the implications of theoretical formulations and research findings for approaches to treatment. As such, it will also be of great value on graduate and training courses for psychoanalysis.
Table of Contents
1. Ego Psychology in Freudian Theory 2. Psychoanalytic Ego Psychology: Basic Tenets 3. Critiques of Ego Psychology 4. Correctives and Revisions 5. An Expansion of Ego Psychology: Interpersonal Reality-Testing 6. Research and Theory on Interpersonal Understanding 7. Ego Functions, Aims, and Motives 8. Psychoanalytic Theories of Affect and Affect Regulation 9. Research on Affect Regulation 10. Ego Psychology and Psychopathology 11. Ego Psychology and Psychoanalytic treatment 12. A Revised Ego Psychology as Foundation for a Unified Psychoanalytic Theory
Morris N. Eagle, Distinguished Faculty, New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles; Senior Scholar, York University, Toronto; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; recipient of the Sigourney Award; former President of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association; author/editor of 8 books; author of more than 150 journal articles and chapters.
"Morris Eagle has an integrative mind that is in a class of its own within psychoanalytic theory and beyond. This book accurately integrates almost all developments in the last decades into the best established framework of psychoanalytic science and advances an exciting new vision of contemporary psychoanalysis remarkable not just for its clarity but for opening fresh clinical vistas. A virtuoso achievement of great value to our community." - Peter Fonagy, Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science
"In this impressive and scholarly contribution, Morris Eagle breathes new life into ego psychology. A resuscitation effort is quite timely as ego psychology has gradually been edged out of psychoanalytic discourse and replaced with themes derived from object relations, self psychology, attachment theory, and relational approaches. The author makes a splendid argument for how an updated and more comprehensive approach to ego psychology may be more user-friendly than the partial theories that seem to be more popular today. He points out that a unified psychoanalytic theory of the mind must rest on the placement of a "personal element", the "I", at the center of the theory. In this regard, he reminds us that our subjective experience is the core of true ego psychology. I highly recommend this extraordinary new book to all those who care about the future of psychoanalysis." - Glen O. Gabbard, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston
"Along with four co-edited books, this is Morris Eagle’s fifth authored book, another classic. His lifelong line of research comes full circle. In this book, he confronts a central issue of our field today: the possibility of a unified psychoanalytic theory, the foundation for which, he convincingly argues, should be a corrected, revised, and expanded ego psychology Here the fil rouge that characterized all his previous books and papers is more evident than ever: he is not satisfied with remaining at the theoretical level, where we know he excels; he relentlessly connects psychoanalytic theory and clinical issues to theory and research from related disciplines. No doubt, this book will be a reference point for the entire psychoanalytic community, will be translated in other languages and will be used as a vital source for graduate courses and education and training programs in psychoanalysis." - Paolo Migone, M.D., editor of the journal Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane
"In this dazzlingly brilliant and breathtakingly bold new book, Morris Eagle, psychoanalysis’s most astute theoretician and critic, shares his gripping vision of a revitalized ego psychology that draws on the latest discoveries in the psychological sciences while attending to the aspirations of psychoanalysis to be a comprehensive science of human meaning. There was a time when one heard the complaint that ego psychology is unexciting and shallow relative to other branches of psychoanalysis. To the contrary, drawing on philosophy as well as psychology to illuminate a new understanding of the ego, Eagle shows that a fully realized ego psychology offers the necessary dynamic center at which all psychoanalytic perspectives meet in forming human experience. Eagle resuscitates ego psychology through arguments of enormous scope and erudition. Drawing on the latest research in multiple psychological disciplines, he offers a profound prescription for the future of clinical theory that places the human subject—Freud’s "ego"—at the heart of an integrative study of the mind and its meanings.Psychoanalysis has displayed its own death instinct in recent decades, splintering into narcissistically defended enclaves each of which holds itself out as the "true" psychoanalytic theory, leaving the field unable to present a common vision or an integrated empirical and theoretical research tradition that can make a credible claim to be taken seriously as part of the larger multidisciplinary psychological/cognitive/neuropsychiatric science of our time. One wants to say to psychoanalysis: Enough already with the many blind men feeling different parts of the elephant! Open your eyes and see that the parts exist within an integrated whole, and that the essence of that whole is the human ego and its many influences and meanings. This book will finally put to rest the suspicion that psychoanalysis is incapable of dynamic new theoretical advances and will open a pathway for psychoanalysis to realize its natural place as a protector of the importance of meaning in a world more and more focused on biological underpinnings.His book is a must-read for all those faculty, graduate students, and clinicians—whether in psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, social work, or other psychotherapeutic professions—who want to approach their clients and theories of helping with the broadest and deepest research-anchored vision available." - Jerome C. Wakefield, PhD, DSW, University Professor, Professor of Social Work, Honorary Faculty in the Psychoanalytic Association of New York Affiliated with NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Center for Bioethics in the School of Global Public Health