splitting of the ego

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In psychoanalysis, the coexistence within the ego of two attitudes towards external reality, functioning side by side without influencing each other, one taking reality into account and the other disavowing reality. According to Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), it is peculiar to the disorder of fetishism and certain of the psychoses. He presented his theory in various publications, including an article on ‘Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence’ (Standard Edition, XXIII, pp. 275–8). In object-relations theory it is seen as a more normal mode of psychological functioning.

Subjects: Psychology.

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