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Ego Psychology

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Defenses; Ego; Ego functioning; Ego strengths


Among the founding Freudian analytic theories, ego psychology is the study of the ego as the operating center of the tripartite psyche wherein defensive, adaptive, and coping processes are generated and called upon as resources to address psychopathological and environmental forms of conflict.


Ego psychology is an under-discussed clinical theory that will be shown to have significant implications for clinical practice. Often overlooked and even disregarded, ego psychology was among the first theoretical schools to formulate the manner in which individual functioning may lie in the balance between psychopathology and adaptive resources within a larger social environment. Such perspectives on human development are regaining foothold in contemporary discussions of cultural theory and competency as well as the extent to which defensive and adaptive functioning are affected by broader systemic forces such as...


  • Personal Resource
  • Adaptive Functioning
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Trauma Survivor
  • Distressing Thought

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Correspondence to Graham Danzer .

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Danzer, G. (2017). Ego Psychology. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8

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