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The expression first appears in the article "The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analytic Therapy" (1910d), when Freud wrote that "in male patients the most important resistances in the treatment seem to be derived from the father complex and to express themselves in fear of the father, in defiance of the father and in disbelief of the father" (p. 144).
He attributed specifically to Carl Gustav Jung the coinage of the term complex, and in the same year he used it in developing the expression "Oedipus complex," which was at this time nearly synonymous with "father complex."
Here, in essence, it referred to the guilt and castration anxiety experienced by the son in the "primitive horde" after the murder of the father, which in turn led to the repression of incestuous wishes toward the mother.
The expression father complex has almost entirely disappeared from usage in contemporary psychoanalysis.
- Freud, Sigmund. (1910d). The future prospects of psychoanalytic therapy. SE, 11: 139-151.
- ——. (1912-13a). Totem and taboo. SE, 13: 1-161.