March 1961

A Genetic Field Theory of Ego Formation.

Author Affiliations

By René A. Spitz. Price, $3.00. Pp. 123. International Universities Press, Inc., 227 W. 13th St., New York 11, 1959.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(3):316-318. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710090102014

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


"The one hundred and second anniversary of the birth of Freud offers me the welcome opportunity to present some general propositions on the unfolding of the human personality and on the establishment of psychic structure. These are ideas which have slowly taken shape in my mind in the course of my work on infants during the last twenty-five years. They appear to me to follow from the conceptual framework laid down by Freud, from his initial assumption that there is no division between the somatic and the psychic aspects of the human personality, that the same rigorous determinism which rules the physical'world applies to intrapsychic processes."

This is a bold phrase by Spitz founded on Freud's embryological reading of Roux's experiments. Unfortunately, the psychologists and psychiatrists have redefined both maturation and development which now mean a series of events peculiar to them. What is attempted is to project psychic

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview