chapter  VI
Ego-Weakness, The Core of the Problem of Psychotherapy 1
ByHarry Guntrip
Pages 19

The schizoid psychopath and the seriously paranoid person have presumably failed to develop beyond the earlier paranoid-schizoid position, and are arrested on an amoral, pre-depressive level of experience. The famous 'resistance' to psychotherapy which was one of Freud's most important discoveries is, in the first instance, mainly an attempt to deny the need for treatment. The resistance to psychotherapy is strictly on a par with the defensiveness of people against one another in everyday life. Perhaps the terrific resistance to admitting and facing 'basic ego-weakness rooted in fear' that all human beings show both in social life and as patients, is reflected in the slowness with which psychiatric and psychoanalytic research has come to face this problem. Ego-weakness in the ultimate sense in which it is basic and causal for all kinds of personality disorder is primarily a property of the infantile libidinal ego, whose development has been and remains arrested.