anal-expulsive phase

Quick Reference

A subdivision of the anal stage suggested in 1924 by the German psychoanalyst Karl Abraham (1877–1925) in his book Versuch einer Entwicklungsgeschichte der Libido (A Study of the Developmental History of the Libido). In this first phase, anal erotism is linked to evacuation of the bowels, and the sadistic instinct is satisfied through destruction of faeces; whereas in the second anal-retentive phase, anal erotism is associated with retention of faeces, and the sadistic instinct is linked to possessive control. Abraham believed that the progression from the first to the second of these two phases is crucial for the later development of the ability to form loving relationships. Also called the anal-expulsive stage.

Subjects: Psychology.

Reference entries