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Breary, M. (1984). Body and Personality by Brian W. P. Wells. Published by Longman Group: London, 1983; 262 pages; £4.95, paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 1(1):89-90.

(1984). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 1(1):89-90

Body and Personality by Brian W. P. Wells. Published by Longman Group: London, 1983; 262 pages; £4.95, paperback.

Review by:
Mike Breary

Dr. Wells is a psychologist from the University of Strathclyde who has written 262 pages and 8 chapters to “…offset… a perilously abstract view of psychology” because it'… was becoming far too metaphysical”. The book is aimed at …students of psychology and human sciences, education and social sciences, and professionals in these fields”.

The aim of the publication would seem to be to give an overview of selected topics around the title as there is no attempt to offer new ideas from the author's work or researches. The style is conversational at its best but mostly rambles through free associations of Irrelevant material. Chapter 8 is typical. Entitled ‘Healthy body and healthy mind’ it starts off by ascribing the dictum ‘Mens sana in corpore sana’ (latin) to Hippocrates (greek), veers off at a tangent to side swipe public schools and psychologists trained in them before Rolfing through Rank's of Reich's orgastic potency, Janov's primal scream and Lowen's bioenergetics. It ends with a karate chop.

Trainees undergoing analysis may find value in the few pages devoted to potted versions of the insights and theories of Adler, Jung and briefly Freud, but the balance and factual content of every section is suspect. For instance, 29 pages are devoted to ‘Body image and self esteem’ but only two paragraphs concern anorexia nervosa despite its relevance, topicality and the considerable amount of research carried out in that field recently.

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