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Charles Brenner

Beyond the Ego and the Id, Revisited


The Mind as Conflict and Compromise Formation

Beyond the Ego and the Id, Revisited

Dr. Brenner is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic
I am indebted to two of my colleagues, Dr. Arnold M. Richards and Dr. Yale
Kramer, who separately called my attention to the theoretical implications of
the recognition that conflict and compromise formation are ubiquitous in mental
life. They have generously granted me the opportunity to develop more fully the
consequences of what they were the first to recognize clearly.

Beyond the Ego and the Id Revisited

Three years ago I read a paper here in New York titled The Mind As Conflict And
Compromise Formation. In it I proposed to revise the view that the mind is best
understood as composed of threee agencies. Tonight's paper is by way of a follow
up on the paper of three years ago.
I suppose it was inevitable that my proposal should acquire a new title. It's
now called Beyond The Ego And The Id. That's the cover title of the issue of The
Journal Of Clinical Psychoanalysis in which it appears along with discussions by
a number of colleagues: Arlow, Boesky, Kramer, Mahon, Shane, and Shapiro. It has
also been put on the internet in the website of the A. A. Brill Memorial
Library, where it has likewise led to some discussion by two other colleagues,
Dr. Hanna Segal of London and Dr. Henry Smith of Boston.
In any branch of scientific work it is important not to be wedded to a theory,
especially not to a new theory that one has introduced oneself. Every theory,
new or old, should be constantly tested against newly emerging data of
observation. In ...
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