Excerpt About Ego Development
As we discussed in Chapter Two, the accomplishment of separation-individuation is understood to be the acquiring of independence from the mothering person in the process of forming a stable self-image and sense of self. Its final outcome is indeed the achievement of individuality, the capacity to be a person in one’s own right and to function autonomously. Thus, in terms of ego development, acquiring autonomy is the same as the achievement of the intrapsychic task of the separation-individuation process, the attainment of identity, separateness and individuality. We can see then that society’s idealization of autonomy points to the deeper significance of the desire of the man of the world for autonomy: it means to him becoming “his own person.” It means individuation, growth and maturity. Independence and autonomy within society, “making it,” achieving the capacity to support oneself and one’s family, the ability to make free choices about one’s life, are the adult’s expression of individuation, signs of the maturity of his ego development, and the fruition of the solidification of his individuality.