(1958). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 5, 1957, No. 1 (Concluded): Weiss, Edoardo. 'The Phenomenon of "Ego Passage".'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:444.
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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 5, 1957, No. 1 (Concluded): Weiss, Edoardo. 'The Phenomenon of "Ego Passage".'
(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:444
Weiss believes that introjection does not describe the process whereby object representations become part of the ego. The object is not thrown, 'jected', by the ego into itself, but the ego includes it or extends itself over it. Internalization is a more suitable concept. Similarly in the case of externalization nothing is thrown out of the ego, but the ego separates itself or withdraws from a portion of itself. The portion or trend of the ego which is externalized is turned into an object representation. This object representation now has ego characteristics. The phenomenon of 'ego passage' has two stages. First, an object representation is internalized within the ego, thus becoming a part of the ego. Second, there is an externalization of the former object representation. Once an object representation is included within the ego it no longer preserves all its original features. Thus the re-externalized object representation assumes certain characteristics of the ego. In neurotic conflict situations there is either no externalization of the representation of the opposite sex or it is incomplete.
Externalization of the object representation—de-egotization—can influence the ego cathexis. The object representation carries with it some of the ego cathexis. Castration fear assumes its significance in no small measure from the fact that the genitalia are invested biologically with a huge libido supply which feeds the ego as long as these organs and their functions remain egotized. Their de-egotization deprives the ego of such an enormous amount of libido that its dynamic survival is most seriously threatened. Repression can also lead to an impoverishment of the ego cathexis.
Projection must be differentiated from externalization. Projection should be reserved for delusional belief or the belief that another person has some trait of the individual concerned. In both instances there is defective reality testing. The process of externalization turns ego states into object representations regardless of whether or not a corresponding object is actually found in the external world.
The superego is not composed of all internalized object representations. Only those objects are represented which appeared powerful and omniscient in childhood. In melancholia the ego assumes two rôles—that of accused and that of accuser. Not all the patient's reproaches are directed against the internalized love object; some derive from objectionable actions of the patient himself. In the manic solution of the melancholia, the ego externalizes the objectionable portion of itself and identifies with the superego. This projection of the repudiated portion of the ego may lead to aggressive and persecutory behaviour on the part of the patient.
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(1958). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 5, 1957, No. 1 (Concluded). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:444
WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.