The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 53, Number 4 - October 2005 - English
Special Issue on Ego State Therapy
Selected Topics in Ego State Therapy
Polypsychism is a recurrent theme in human endeavors such as literature, philosophy, and the psychotherapies. Theoretical models are necessary for sorting data. Insight-oriented, psychodynamic, and object relations psychotherapies have traditionally utilized some variety of polypsychism. This monograph is focused on Ego State Therapy, a treatment modality that was co-created by John and Helen Watkins. They creatively elaborated the theories of Federn concerning the formation of personality energies in early childhood. Ego State Therapy has grown in acceptance, particularly in Europe. The first World Congress in Ego State Therapy was held in Bad Orb, Germany in March, 2003.
The selected topics presented have as much to say about personality theory and the techniques in insight-oriented psychotherapies as they do of Ego State Therapy. Chapters One through Four offer an overview of Ego State Therapy and its similarities and differences from other forms of polypsychic psychotherapies such as Gestalt Therapy, Psychosynthesis, and Transactional Analysis. There is particular emphasis on Internal Family Systems Therapy. Also examined are the formation of ego states and their natures, how to make the diagnosis of ego state pathology, and the essential elements of Ego State Therapy. The concept of the Center Core of the personality and the conflict-free sphere of the ego are presented from several perspectives.
Chapters Five and Six give both introductory material about modern and post-modern models of the therapeutic alliance as a background for some information about how they can be utilized in Ego State Therapy. Chapter Seven is devoted to the creation and modification of ego states as well as a consideration of the significance of positive ego states in psychotherapy and in pedagogy. The Appendix contains information about the scope of clinical applications of Ego State Therapy. The topics selected from the rapidly growing field of Ego State Therapy are limited because of necessary publication restraints.