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The Superego

Everyone breaks rules. But what is the disapproving voice inside our heads that chides and criticises us for it? In psychoanalysis this voice is called the superego, which Freud conceived as the infantile internalising of parental authority and a manifestation of the sublimated Oedipus complex. This book examines how important the superego is in passing on moral standards and codes of behaviour from one generation to the next – but at the same time, how can it lead to distressing states of mind from which many people suffer, particularly depression. Priscilla Roth looks at examples of the many ways in which our superego can manifest itself in familiar everyday incidents, and shows how our feelings and behaviour are affected by it even when we're not aware of its presence. Using case material from psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, she demonstrates what kinds of experiences may lie behind the hidden, but very powerful, effects our superegos have on us.
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