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Modell, A.H. (1998). The Languages of Psychoanalysis. By John E. Gedo. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 209 pp., $39.95. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(2):607-610.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2):607-610

The Languages of Psychoanalysis. By John E. Gedo. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 209 pp., $39.95

Review by:
Arnold H. Modell

John Gedo is one of our most prolific authors, with a breadth of learning and range of interests that put one in mind of the French encyclopedists. He is a difficult writer to summarize, for his texts brim over with vivid clinical anecdotes that are only in a marginal sense ordered into a coherent conceptual framework. An exception to this statement is his reliance on a hierarchical model of the mind, on which I will comment later. The organizing theme of The Languages of Psychoanalysis is the nature of communication (or noncommunication) within the analytic dyad. He describes not only the varieties of the analysand's communications, but those of the analyst as well. The first two sections of this book are titled “Psychoanalysis and Semiotics” and “On the Analytic Dialogue.” The third and final section deals with a very different subject: “Intrapsychic Communication.” Under this rubric Gedo discusses such clinical issues as the true and false self and the “psychotic core” that may be present in a person not otherwise psychotic. Here the issue is noncommunication within the self—an interesting topic, to be sure, though it may be stretching things a bit to include it within the languages of psychoanalysis.


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