Between 1924 and 1939 Otto Rank put forward three major elements of a comprehensive theoretical edifice that has yet to be fully articulated. These are conceptually linked by the fundamental importance of person-environment mergence and separation. Rank’s theory of emotions highlights anxiety as the affect of separation, and guilt as the feeling that binds the individual to others. His personality theory distinguishes between the partialist, who responds to life fear with identification, and the totalist, who responds to death fear with projection. His cultural psychology contrasts primal collectivism with contemporary individualism, which orients the person toward individual immortality striving. Individualism has produced problematic self-consciousness and neuroticism, in the face of which Rank struggled to find a new psychology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology