How the ego is structured – an overview

Ego-structuring psychotherapy – an overview.

Psychoanalysis looks at psychosis as an early disturbance in the development of the personality, i. e. the ego. Early means before the castration complex and thus before the ordering of relations becomes oedipal. Responsible for this mishap is according to Freud verwerfung of a important factor that normally accomplish the urverdrängung, and thereby verdrängung proper is out of the question. According to Lacan, this factor is the Name of the Father (Le no(m) du Père). The Name of the Father instigates the metaphorical dimension as such and, thereby, makes language come into action thru a pact between the subject and the Other. This is, at the same time, a giving up immediacy (de Waelhens) and letting existence of man take a self-reflecting form in stead of a mere unreflected being. Lacan postulates a forclusion of the Name of the Father, which hinders the unconscious, structured as a language, from safeguarding the ego and the world, i. e. the imaginary.

Ego-structuring psychotherapy effectuates an implementation of the Name of the Father, to the effect that the psychotic person gets linguistically structured, along with a development of her/his world view, and becomes a historically determined person engaged in fulfilling a plan for life.

Several scientific evaluations of the therapy has been done, some are enumerated below.

Aronsson, Bengt-Göran: Treatment of schizophrenic patients – an evaluation of the Norrgården therapeutic community. Institution for applied psychology, University of Umeå, Report 51 2000.

Berggren, Eskil and Bertilsson, Gunny: Evaluation of the first 46 ego-structuring psychotherapies at the psychiatric department in Skellefteå, May 2000. It is a quality assessment project, named development of ego-structuring psychotherapy.

Edenius, Bo: Gud eller Svensson On a theory of psychosis and the development of a method for treatment. This dissertation deals with the implementation of ego-structuring approach on a therapeutical community. The patients are schizophrenics “given up” by psychiatry and left over for chronic medication and disability pension.

Stencrantz, Annika and Malmgren, Britt-Marie: Ego-structuring psychotherapy with four young psychotic patients, part 1 – a process description. Institution for applied psychology, University of Umeå, Report 49 1997.

Stencrantz, Annika: Ego-structuring psychotherapy – changes in four young psychotic patients, part 2, Institution for applied psychology, University of Umeå, Report 50 1998.