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Hinshelwood, R.D. (1992). Recent Developments in Psychoanalysis by Morris N. Eagle, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984, 260 pages, hb $19.95. Free Associations, 3(1):137-140.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(1):137-140

Recent Developments in Psychoanalysis by Morris N. Eagle, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984, 260 pages, hb $19.95

Review by:
R. D. Hinshelwood

This book, now not so recent, looks at the developments that have affected, and taken place within, American psychoanalysis in the couple of decades or so since psychoanalysis in the United States began to undergo its crisis (Fromm, 1970). The increasingly mechanistic quality of psychoanalytic practice up until the late 1960s is due to various influences. Notable are: (a) the influence of certain psychoanalysts, particularly Hartmann, Kris, Lowenstein and Rapaport, most of whom wrote theory rather than clinical accounts — these analysts represented a body of émigrés from Vienna, therefore insecure and working in a foreign language, grateful for the refuge but probably uncomprehending of the culture and of the frantic popularity that psychoanalysis achieved in the United States, and probably carrying with them the suspicion and mild cultural superiority that Freud always felt for the Americans; and (b) the climate in psychology which was wholly and fervently behaviourist in the 1930s and 1940s. As great assimilators the émigré analysts would have intended to make their peace with the host culture and no doubt were highly influenced by the behaviourist attempts to construct ‘scientific’ and engineering models of human beings.

With the advent of the humanism of the 1960s which swept right through the postwar western world, psychoanalysis came to seem increasingly alien in the United States. This gave rise to the myriad of alternative therapies, many of them sheltering under the umbrella of humanistic psychology or humanistic psychotherapy.

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