Psychoanalysis: Evolution and development. A review of theory and therapy

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Reviews the book, Psychoanalysis: Evolution and development. A review of theory and therapy by Clara Thompson and Patrick Mullahy (1950). This is an excellent book, in the present reviewer's opinion, for psychologists as well as for other professional persons and intelligent laymen who wish a discussion of the evolution of the various theories and methods in the different schools of psychoanalysis from the time of Freud to the present. There have been other books which summarize the theories of the various schools. But to my knowledge there has been no study until this one of the deeper, more subtle developmental aspects of these emerging streams in analysis, and no study which is based on first-hand knowledge of the practical application of the therapy of the schools rather than just their theories. These chapters have evolved out of the lectures which Dr. Thompson gives in her annual basic course at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry in New York. The principle which has underlain those lectures, as well as the present book, is stated by Dr. Thompson in the preface, “It occurred to me that possibly if one stopped emphasizing differences and tried to note the general stream of development, one would find that this infant science, or (if you prefer) art has a forward moving direction to which all of the different schools have contributed.” It is this attitude on the part of the author which makes possible the unusually objective evaluation of the varied approaches to psychoanalysis which one finds in this book. The book is to be highly recommended for persons who work professionally with other people as well as for students of psychology who want a sound orientation in this relatively new and unstructured field. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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