Finishing Up Ego Factors

We are going to continue our reading of “The Ego Factors in Surrender in Alcoholism.” We are at the last section of the paper on page 57 or 58 (as far as my Kindle can tell) under the heading “No Compromise with Ego.” This section offers up a couple of case studies and concludes and summarizes the ideas he has  developed so far. Tiebout says that the point of the paper is that “it is the Ego that is the archenemy of sobriety, and it is the Ego that must be disposed of if the individual is to attain a new way of life.”

We’ll probably get through this final section and have time to start the next paper “Alcoholics Anonymous: An Experiment of Nature.” This is a transcript of a talk Tiebout gave to the New York Medical Society in October 1959. He’s urging his colleagues not to ignore the AA experience (or “clinical data”) just because it’s non-scientific. He offers up the history of two of his patients, the first being Marty Mann and the second being a woman who summarizes how she felt before and after hitting bottom and surrendering.  He goes on to identify four concepts that pertain to recovery from alcoholism. These are hitting bottom, humility, surrender and ego reduction. We have seen these before, but Tiebout restates his case in an interesting way. We may get through to his treatment of the first concept, hitting bottom, on or about page 69.


phenomenon–a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.
“AA is a phenomenon of nature”

You also see this word in the There Is Solution on page 27, where Doctor Jung, talking about “vital spiritual experiences” says “To me these occurrences are phenomena.” meaning “stuff that happens that I can’t fully explain.”

psychodynamics–how the parts of the mind work together.
“Man, your psychodynamics are scaring me!”

We’ve seen this one before but I thought I’d mention it here. Theories of the mind that break personality into different parts (for example id, ego and superego) usually come with an explanation of how the parts work together. That explanation part is psychodynamics. Tiebout has been talking about how the alcoholic ego works to prevent surrender. That’s psychodynamics too.

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