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April 1969

The Person: His Development Throughout the Life Cycle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(4):492-495. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740160108018

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Heinz Hartmann's "Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation" has been rightly regarded as a classic contribution to psychoanalytic psychology. It is considered a watershed in the development of modern psychoanalytic thought. Yet in many ways, its impact upon the field has been disappointing. With the notable exceptions of his own contributions, and those of his colleagues Kris and Loewenstein, much of the work which has followed consists of relatively sterile, laboriously intricate metapsychological formulations which are of relevant concern only to theoreticians within psychoanalysis; indeed, frequently they are merely "updated," tedious reformulations of earlier metapsychological contributions. Lip service may be paid to limited aspects of information from other fields of behavioral science, which Hartmann emphasized as being essential in understanding ego functions; and almost nowhere is there any meaningful synthesis with the observations and theory of psychoanalysis. Particularly, missed is any attempt to fit these data within the epigenetic

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