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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Lomas, P. (1965). Neurosis in the Family and Patterns of Psychosocial Defense: A Study of Psychiatric Epidemiology: By Jan Ehrenwald. (New York: Hoeber/Harper, 1963. Pp. 203 $5.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:268-270.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:268-270

Neurosis in the Family and Patterns of Psychosocial Defense: A Study of Psychiatric Epidemiology: By Jan Ehrenwald. (New York: Hoeber/Harper, 1963. Pp. 203 $5.50.)

Review by:
Peter Lomas

Interest in the psychodynamics of the family is centred in America, and there now exists a large amount of literature on the subject. Some of this is written from the point of view of orthodox psycho-analysis with little recognition of the methodological and theoretical problems involved in the shift from the intrapsychic to the interpersonal frame of reference. Some—and this includes most that is stimulating and exciting—has developed new orientations, out of which has arisen concepts such as 'double bind' and 'pseudomutuality'. The contributors of this school are usually psycho-analysts but have so far eschewed the attempt to wed their theories to those of Freud; much of their work is reported in the recently launched journal Family Process.

Ehrenwald, an eclectic writer of primarily psycho-analytic orientation, belongs more to the former class, but is aware, to a greater extent than most, of the challenge to orthodox theory which is brought by increasing knowledge of family dynamics. In his view

neurosis is fostered and fed by the patient's perception of family dynamics, subliminal or supraliminal. It may be determined by his reactions, conscious or unconscious, to the pressures and pulls within a given family constellation. Thus the battle lines of intrapsychic conflict, which in the psychoanalytic model are thought to end at the boundaries of individual personality structure, are extended into the surrounding field of family conflict; they cut across the boundaries of a closed, isolated and strictly self-contained model of personality as it was conceived by early Freudian theory.

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