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March 1961

A Genetic Field Theory of Ego Formation.

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

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"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

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