Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To convert articles to PDF…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

At the top right corner of every PEP Web article, there is a button to convert it to PDF. Just click this button and downloading will begin automatically.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Fink, K. (1985). Unconscious Communication in Everyday Life by Robert Langs Published by Aaronson: New York 1983; 240 pp.; hardback £20.. Brit. J. Psychother., 1(4):297-298.

(1985). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 1(4):297-298

Unconscious Communication in Everyday Life by Robert Langs Published by Aaronson: New York 1983; 240 pp.; hardback £20.

Review by:
K. P. Fink, M.D., FRC, Psych

This book is addressed to the general public and Robert Langs tries to update Freud's Psychopathology of Everday Lie, The Interpretation of Dreams and The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious, plus some other writings.

Fangs is a populariser of psychodynamics and a prolific writer who is author and editor of many books and is an indefatigable promulgator of the understanding of the unconscious. His seminars and workshops are well known and well attended.

In Unconscious Communication in Everyday Life he explains the layers and levels of meanings contained in everyday communications. The book is divided into 19 chapters and numerous sub-sections and Langs attempts to go step by step in explaining how every communication, however banal it may seem, has a meaning and what kind of meaning. He carefully classifies people into senders and receivers of messages and then into people who send true messages and those who send false messages; he also says that receivers can be true receivers or false or lie receivers. He gives numerous examples, some of which seem a bit superficial at times, but they are in fact addressed to the very lay reader and are intended to be as didactic as possible. Langs spends a great deal of time in explaining how to understand the meaning of communications, that is, in his words, how to decode the encoded meaning. He applies this same system to dreams and emphasizes that the trigger (that is, the reason for sending a communication or for having a dream) is the basic fact that has to be understood.

The hook is addressed to the lay public and I would say also to beginners in psychodynamic studies. The language is very clear, although some people will object to the usage of English that Langs makes in order to clarify his thought and the wary he derives a series of terms of the basic word ‘code’. The book is worthwhile reading and having for professional and semi-professional people. Beginners will benifit from it and probably acquire some new communication skills.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.