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Int J Psychoanal. 1984;65 ( Pt 3):331-9.

The complete oedipus complex.


The 'Complete Oedipus Complex' is shown to be a critical period in Spitz' sense of convergence of drive maturation with ego development. It is proposed that competence to venture into the heart of the oedipal conflict is acquired in the practising subphase of the separation-individuation process where traits such as venture-someness, courage, initiative and the like become part of the self representations. Also proposed is that tension between drive need and object relations need at the anal phase results in compromise that establishes a pattern for taming the drive because of object relations considerations. The so-called negative oedipal position is seen as a regression to a pre-oedipal level of object need that is tinged with sexual wishes carried back from the oedipal position. Finally, the waning of the Oedipus complex is regarded as another developmental thrust terminating in identification with and love for the parent of the same sex, with transfer of functions of the object representations to the self representations, which results in diminution of primary object need and frees the individual to make new libidinal connexions at adult levels of object need.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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