The concept of the ego ideal is described and its history in psychoanalytic theory is reviewed. It is suggested that the clinician too will aspire to meet the standards of his various ego ideals. Two broad categories of the analyst’s ego ideal are described: the reparative or depressive and the psychoanalytic or professional. A short vignette is given of a therapist being unable to resist the pressure to be supposedly reparative. The genesis of these ego ideals is described, and it is argued that the analyst will always have to struggle with the conflicting demands imposed by both. A clinical case is described in which this struggle was central to the patient’s pathology.