Ego state therapy was developed by John G. Watkins and Helen Watkins as a method for giving voice to disowned, conflicted, or dissociated aspects of self, also called ego states, to resolve inner conflicts between disparate parts of self, resolve psychological disturbances, and improve the functioning of an individual’s self system or personality. Ego state therapy is consistent with the goals of psychoanalytical treatment, but it is more expeditious because it directly accesses deep psychodynamic structures and enables the relatively direct resolution of symptoms.

Historical Context

Pierre Janet (1859–1947) used the term dissociation when discussing parts of the personality that were split off. Based on some of his ideas, the term ego state was first introduced by Paul Federn (1871–1950) as part of his theory of ego ...

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