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December 1960

Some Thoughts of Schizophrenia and Ego Development in the Light of Family Investigations

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.
From the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Helsinki, and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine (Research Fellow and Research Associate, 1959-1960).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(6):650-656. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710060082012

A new type of investigation may sometimes point out the necessity for a reevaluation of scientific principles which have been accepted earlier. This seems to be true of the findings brought out by the studies of the family environment of the schizophrenic patients and their relation to classical psychoanalytic conceptions of this disorder. To my mind, at least, there has been a certain divergence between these two approaches with which I have had to struggle. After a brief historical review of the problem, I would like to assemble here some ideas—maybe not altogether new—in order to bring them closer together.

The basic hypotheses underlying the psychoanalytic theories of schizophrenia were developed by Freud and his pupils in the beginning of this century. Their crucial point concerns the regression of libido to its first phase of primary narcissism,* a period when the libido still was

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