Freud and Breuer proposed the concept of splitting of the mind and described it in various clinical cases and the concept was later developed in studies by Klein, Kohut, Kernberg and others. These basic clinical findings were also confirmed by later studies using Rorschach projective test documenting that splitting in mental structures may be observed in phantasies and associations reflecting cognitive and affective contents related to conflicting interpretations of objects, other persons and the self. Altogether these data indicate that splitting represents a specific form of dissociation resulting from a conflict that leads to splitting of the ego and other parts of the psychic apparatus into separated subsystems. In this context, splitting and dissociation do not mean different terms even they are used in different contexts for description of specific conditions that may occur in various mental disorders.
Berg, J.L. (1990). Differentiating ego functions of borderline and narcissistic personalities. Journal of Personality Assessment, 55, 537–48.
Biais, M.A., Hilsenroth, M.J., Fowler, J.C., & Conboy, C.A. (1999). A Rorschach exploration of the DSM-IV Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55, 563–72.
Cooper, S., Perry, J., & Arnow, D. (1988). An empirical approach to the study of defense mechanisms: I. Reliability and preliminary validity of the Rorschach defense scales. Journal of Personality Assessment, 52, 187–203.
Fowler, J.C., Hilsenroth, M.J., & Nolan, E. (2000). Exploring the inner world of self-mutilating borderline patients: a Rorschach investigation. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 64, 365–85.
Freud, S. & Breuer, J. (1895). Studies on hysteria. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological works of Sigmund Freud, 2: 48–106.
Freud, S. (1912). A note on the unconscious in psychoanalysis. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological works of Sigmund Freud, 12.
Freud, S. (1940). Splitting of the ego in the process of defence. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological works of Sigmund Freud, 23: 271–278.
Fuchs, T. (2007). Psychopathology, Fragmented Selves: Temporality and Identity in Borderline personality Disorder. Psychopathology, 40, 379–387.
Glassman, M. B. (1986). Splitting: Further contributions to the development of a measure, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42(6).
Grala, C. (1980). The concept of splitting and its manifestations on the Rorschach test. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 44, 253–271.
Janet, P. (1989). L’Automatisme psychologique, Fõlix Alcan, Paris.
Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. New York, A Jasona Aronson Book.
Klein, M. (1940). Mourning and its Relation to Manic-Depressive states. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 21, 125–153.
Klein, M. (1950). On the Criteria for the Termination of an Analysis. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31, 204.
Klein, M. (1952). The mutual influences in the development of ego and id. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 7, 51–53.
Kohut, H. (1966). Forms and transformations of narcissism, Journal of American Pychoanalytic Association, 14. 243–272
Kohut, H. (1971). The analysis of the self. New York: International Universities Press.
Leichsenring, F. (1999). Splitting: an empirical study. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 63, 520–37.
Marmar, C.H. R. & Horowitz M. J. (1986). Phenomenological Analysis of Splitting, Psychotherapy. Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, 9, 21–29.
Lerner, P., & Lerner, H. (1980). Rorschach assessment of primitive defenses in borderline personality structure. In: L. Kwawer, A. Sugarman, P. Lerner, & H. Lerner (Eds.), Borderline phenomena and the Rorschach test (pp. 257–274). New York: International Universities Press.
Siegel, J. P. (2006). Dyadic Splitting in Partner Relational Disorders. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 418–422.
Singer, M.T., & Larson., D.G. (1981). Borderline personality and the Rorschach test. Archives of General Psychiatry, 38, 693–698.
Smith, K. (1980). Object relations concepts as applied to borderline level of ego functioning. In: J. Kwawer, A. Sugarman, P. Lerner, & H. Lerner (Eds.), Borderline phenomena and the Rorschach test (pp. 59–87). New York: International Universities Press.
Sugarman, A. (1980). The borderline personality organization as manifested on psychological tests. In: J. Kwawer, A. Sugarman, P. Lerner, & H. Lerner (Eds.), Borderline phenomena and the Rorschach test (pp. 39–58). New York: International Universities Press.
Westen, D. (1991). Social Cognition and Object Relations. Psychological Bulletin, 3, 429–455.
About this article
Cite this article
Jiraskova, T. Splitting of the Mind and Unconscious Dynamics. Act Nerv Super 56, 24–27 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03379604
- Unconscious Dynamics
- Mental Activity