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(p. 127) Comments on Joseph Sandler’s ‘On the Concept of the Superego’ 

(p. 127) Comments on Joseph Sandler’s ‘On the Concept of the Superego’
(p. 127) Comments on Joseph Sandler’s ‘On the Concept of the Superego’

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 17 April 2021

Winnicott’s comments on a paper given to the British Society by Joseph Sandler entitled ‘On the Concept of the Superego’. For Winnicott, Sandler’s work, though relevant to the Freudian concept of the super ego, does not address dreams, psychic reality and fantasy sufficiently. He refers to the importance of Klein’s work, but also to his own paper, ‘Mind in Relation to the Psyche Soma’ and to his concepts of the True self and False self. For Winnicott, the period before the establishment of the superego at the oedipal stage must be considered first. Here there is little autonomy of the early self and thus little capacity to internalise the parental figures and establish the super ego. Winnicott criticizes Sandler for not fully addressing and defining these matters of the very early pre-superego stages of development but agrees that, in health, the classical superego, belonging to the passing of the Oedipus complex, can be observed.

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