Edmund Bergler, (1899 - 1962)

Edmund Bergler

Edmund Bergler's contribution to psychoanalytic thought was remarkable. Delos Smith, science editor of United Press International, said Bergler was "among the most prolific Freudian theoreticians after Freud himself."

"He extended and made clinically usable several of Freud's later concepts, including superego cruelty, unconscious masochism, and the importance of the pre-oedipal oral mother-attachment."

Hitschmann spoke of his "extraordinary talent for the specialty of psychoanalysis . . . his command of the entire subject matter, his scientific acumen and literary erudition."

Considered "one of the few original minds among the followers of Freud," Bergler presented his main ideas in "The Basic Neurosis" (1949) in which he summarized his massive original contribution to the field.

Bergler was Freud's assistant director at the Vienna clinic in the 1930s, and is among the first generation of psychoanalyists after Freud.
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The centerpiece of Freudian psychoanalysis was initially the Oedipus complex; but Bergler notes that, over time, Freud began to realize how important the pre-Oedipal phase was in human development- particularly the earliest - oral - phase.