Excerpt About Object Relations

Secondary Autonomy Reduces the Defensive Functions of Ego
The ego begins as a differentiated structure with a defensive purpose out of necessity, and it is out of necessity that it retains some of its defensive nature. Defense is even seen as appropriate, especially in early childhood, for adaptive purposes. It is not envisioned that a human being could ever be beyond the need for psychological defense. As we have noted, however, secondary autonomy does reduce the defensive function of ego, making it more harmonious within, more sensitive to external reality, more emotionally objective and more open to profound states.

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