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J., E. (1920). The Elements of Practical Psycho-Analysis: By Paul Bousfield, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.), (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1920. Pp. 272. Price 10s. 6d.).. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:324-328.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:324-328

The Elements of Practical Psycho-Analysis: By Paul Bousfield, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.), (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1920. Pp. 272. Price 10s. 6d.).

Review by:
E. J.

This book purports to be a presentation of psycho-analysis for the instruction of practitioners and students. We have therefore to examine the author's qualifications for teaching the subject, and primarily, of course, his own knowledge of it.

In the preface already we are astonished to read of Freud's "theory that sexual desire is the fundamental desire underlying all other desires and emotions" (author's italics), a view with which the author repeatedly disagrees (pp. vii, 31, 34). He proposes to better it by grouping impulses under the two headings of self-preservation and self-propagation. He evidently does not know that this division has always been made by Freud, who is never tired of insisting on it. As Freud's whole theory of the psychoneuroses is based on the conception of conflict between the sexual and the non-sexual (ego) impulses, this is rather a fundamental misrepresentation, one that we usually expect to find in writers whose knowledge of the subject is gleaned from distant hearsay. The author more especially objects to Freud's supposed belief that nutritional impulses are a part of sex (pp. 29, 30); Freud's actual belief, of course, is merely that certain nutritional impulses are often accompanied by sexual sensations.

The novel view is put forward that no shifting of excitability from the clitoris to the vagina takes place as a rule in normal women; when it occurs it is to be regarded as a regression to cloacal erotism. In 150 cases of apparently normal women, three were completely anaesthetic, fourteen felt pleasure chiefly referred to the vagina but without orgasm, and in the remainder, without exception, the glans clitoris was the essential seat of sensation (pp. 88, 89). This is, of course, the opposite of the psycho-analytical theory of sexual development.


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