Ego psychology

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Description:
Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud's structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.

An individual interacts with the external world as well as responds to internal forces. Many psychoanalysts use a theoretical construct called the ego to explain how that is done through various ego functions. Proponents of ego psychology focus on the ego’s normal and pathological development, its management of libidinal and aggressive impulses, and its adaptation to reality.

History

Sigmund Freud initially considered the ego to be a sense organ for perception of both external and internal stimuli. He thought of the ego as synonymous with consciousness and contrasted it with the repressed unconscious. By 1911, he referenced ego instincts for the first time in Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning and contrasted them with sexual instincts: ego instincts responded to the reality principle while sexual instincts obeyed the pleasure principle. He also introduced attention and memory as ego functions.

Freud began to notice that not all unconscious phenomena could be attributed to the id; it appeared as if the ego had unconscious aspects as well. This posed a significant problem for his topographic theory, which he resolved with the publication of his essay The Ego and the Id (1923). In what came to be called the structural theory, the ego was now a formal component of a three-way system that also included the id and superego. The ego...
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