Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Lissa Weinstein

Second Advisor

Elliot Jurist

Third Advisor

Christopher Christian


ego, Federn, Freud, psychoanalysis, Winnicott


Paul Federn was an important figure in the early development of psychoanalysis. He was, besides Sigmund Freud himself, the only founding member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society who was still a member when the society was disbanded by the Nazis in 1938. He was also an early pioneer in the use of psychoanalysis toward the understanding and treatment of psychosis, and was among the very first to consider the importance of the ego to psychoanalytic understanding of the mind and mental illness. This dissertation examines Federn’s key ideas-- ego-feeling and ego-boundaries-- their influence on later psychoanalytic formulations by Winnicott, Lewin, Isakower, Loewald, Anzieu and others, and their practical use in understanding clinical material, the psychoanalytic setting and in organizing and understanding the various forms of therapeutic action.



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