4. Assessment of Ego Function

  1. Deborah L. Cabaniss,
  2. Sabrina Cherry,
  3. Carolyn J. Douglas and
  4. Anna Schwartz

Published Online: 1 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470711262.ch4

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Manual

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Manual

How to Cite

Cabaniss, D. L., Cherry, S., Douglas, C. J. and Schwartz, A. (2010) Assessment of Ego Function, in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Manual, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470711262.ch4

Author Information

  1. Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 DEC 2010
  2. Published Print: 17 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470684719

Online ISBN: 9780470711262



  • ego function assessment;
  • ego function, people managing - their inner mental life and relationship with the world;
  • defenses, unconscious mechanisms - shielding from thoughts and feelings;
  • mind, and the id, the ego, and the super-ego;
  • ego functions and the way people - manage their inner mental life;
  • “ego strength” - equilibrium, in control, buffeted by internal and external stimulation;
  • ego functions, our relationship with the world - and environmental stimuli;
  • individual ego functions;
  • splitting-based defenses, people protection - from negative feelings and thoughts;
  • using externalization, perceiving internal conflicts - as if they were external conflicts


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What is “ego strength?”

  • What are the individual ego functions?

  • Super-ego function

  • Why is the assessment of ego function important when we evaluate people for psychodynamic psychotherapy?

  • Strengths and weaknesses

  • Ever-changing ego function