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Jones, E. (1957). Psycho-Analysis Today: By Agostino Gemelli, M.D. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955. Pp. 153.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:126.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:126

Psycho-Analysis Today: By Agostino Gemelli, M.D. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955. Pp. 153.)

Review by:
Ernest Jones

This misleading book, an English translation from the Italian, was written by one of the most distinguished Catholic intellectuals in Italy. He is among other things a priest, and the book is written from the standpoint of strict Roman Catholic orthodoxy. I call it misleading because it gives such a distorted picture of psycho-analysis that a practising analyst, familiar with his subject, would find it hard to recognize it as his own.

The first section of the book is entitled 'Freudian psychoanalysis', the second, considerably longer, deals with Jung's psychology, and the third is a comment on various pronouncements by the Pope. In the last we are taught how dangerous and impermissible it is to allow sexual thoughts to emerge from the unconscious into consciousness; they should be allowed to remain in their previous state, the therapist hoping for the best.

It is not worth while to comment on the numerous misstatements in the book. Even the simplest historical facts are wrongly stated. Thus Breuer is said to have accompanied Freud to Charcot's Clinic, where Janet was laying the foundations of what was later psycho-analysis! There is an instructive slip of the pen whereby we are told that 'Freud maintained that the child and the preadolescent boy are not without asexual manifestations' (p. 24).

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