Borderline as Mantra

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 945–946. Reviews the book, The Borderline Patient by Roy R. Grinker, Sr., and Beatrice Werble (1977). The purport of the authors is to determine whether a borderline syndrome exists and, if so, what its attributes are. Second, they hoped to ascertain if subcategories could be delineated and, if so, to define them. Preceding their outline of methods, findings, and conclusions, Grinker and Werble offer introductory chapters reviewing the pitfalls of “This Vague Entity” and “Views of the Borderline Syndrome.” Issues sampled and considered here are such matters as whether borderline is a structural diagnosis, a syndrome with specific symptoms, a distinctive clinical entity in the first place, a negative lifestyle, a transitional state, a spectrum of precarious neuroses or pseudoneuroses, latent schizophrenia, a particular form of developmental fixation, and so forth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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