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Guntrip, H. (1962). The Manic-Depressive Problem in the Light of the Schizoid Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:98-112.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:98-112

The Manic-Depressive Problem in the Light of the Schizoid Process

Harry Guntrip

The Reorientation of Psychodynamic Theory

The increasing emphasis of recent years on the schizoid problem represents the emergence of a distinct point of view in psychodynamic studies; a point of view, moreover, which diverges markedly from the traditional centuries-old approach to human problems. Like all other phenomena, psychopathological phenomena disclose hitherto unrecognized aspects when looked at from a different viewpoint. Psycho-analysis began when Freud, after a prolonged struggle, changed his line of approach to psychoneurosis from the neuropathology in which he was trained to the psychopathology in which he was to prove the greatest of all pioneer investigators. For a long time, the priority was hardly the evolving of a theory but rather the 'seeing of what was there to be seen' and theorized about. So long as advance at first depended mainly on the accumulation of data, Freud could adopt and use the traditional theory of human problems as a sufficient basis or framework for his thinking: i.e. the theory of conflicts arising from the need to control bad impulses rooted in 'the flesh'. He could get on with the pressing task of observation and description of psychopathological phenomena, not so much from the outside like Kraepelin and Bleuler and psychiatrists in general, but from the inside as suggested by the work of Charcot on hypnotic experiences and the unconscious. From 1880 to somewhere between 1910 and 1920 that was his main work, and those who only read Freud's monographs on theory and not his clinical papers hardly know the real Freud.

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