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Beatrice, J. (1997). An Introduction To Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory And Practice. By Anthony Bateman and Jeremy Holmes. New York: Routledge, 289 pp. 1996, $59.95 (hardcover), $18.95 (paperback).. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:1368-1372.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:1368-1372

An Introduction To Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory And Practice. By Anthony Bateman and Jeremy Holmes. New York: Routledge, 289 pp. 1996, $59.95 (hardcover), $18.95 (paperback).

Review by:
James Beatrice

It would be fair, I think, to say that the significant trend among mainstream academic and clinical programs in psychology and psychiatry is to view psychoanalysis as an antiquated clinical technique. Significantly, most major doctoral programs in clinical psychology are reorganizing their curriculum to meet managed care corporate standards that emphasize crisis and brief interventions. Concurrently, the preponderant tendency in psychiatric training programs is to place a premium on biological and pharmaceutical management of symptoms. Conceptualizations of the mind in conflict are increasingly being replaced by an exclusive emphasis on imbalances in neurotransmitters of the brain; symptoms and character organizations are thereby shunted aside as symbolic representations of the status of the self. In consequence, individuals' descriptions of their suffering are no longer seen as reflecting the individual's adaptation to the various forms of conflict inherent in being human but rather are viewed as indicators of brain dysfunction having no psychological meaning. Further, descriptions of a patient's suffering are tabulated against checklists to verify diagnoses, with no consideration of how the person came to be in such a suffering state; nor is consideration given to assessing psychological-mindedness, defensive organization, reality testing, motivation for treatment, or capacity for structural change.

Recent critiques of analysis (Crews 1995; Grünbaum 1993), coupled with the controversy surrounding the delay of the Library of Congress Freud exhibit, all indicate the loss of status of psychoanalysis as the preeminent treatment approach for emotional and psychological disturbance.

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