12. Didier Anzieu and The Skin Ego

  1. Nicola Diamond

Published Online: 7 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch12

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

How to Cite

Diamond, N. (2013) Didier Anzieu and The Skin Ego , in Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch12

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470019429

Online ISBN: 9781118321102

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Keywords:

  • Didier Anzieu;
  • propping connection;
  • skin ego

Summary

For Didier Anzieu, the skin ego is both bodily and psychic, and its formation is dependent on early infant-mother interaction, skin contact being the primary means of communication between mother and child. The experience of the mother's nipple contained in the infant's mouth and the mother containing the child allows for the perception to become the child's own. A failing of this function, which for Esther Bick is to do with the mother and the child's degree of aggressivity, will affect the formation of what Anzieu calls as skin ego. The author reiterates Bick's findings to signpost how Anzieu relates Bick's case studies to his notion of the development of the skin container. The clinical examples show the relationship between the skin ego and alterations in somatic states; however, there are some difficulties with Anzieu's deployment of the first propping account that prevent an understanding of ego–soma relation.