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Hood, J. (1965). Child Psychotherapy: Edited by Mary R. Haworth. (New York and London: Basic Books, 1964. Pp. 459. $8.50. 50s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:396.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:396

Child Psychotherapy: Edited by Mary R. Haworth. (New York and London: Basic Books, 1964. Pp. 459. $8.50. 50s.)

Review by:
James Hood

This handsomely produced volume tries to bring together a vast collection of diverse excerpts from already published material. The attempt of its editor to make available a 'comprehensive and representative presentation of theoretical and methodological approaches' is unfortunately foiled by its all-embracing character. Extracts are either too long or too short; there is a lack of sense of direction, of firmness, or of consistency of purpose—though this is, to some extent, inevitable in such a collection. Eventually, one begins to suspect that her attitude is itself the result of a vaguely non-directive therapeutic philosophy, which Axline describes thus:

Non-directive therapy grants the individual the permissiveness to be himself; it accepts the self completely, without evaluation or pressure to change; it recognizes and clarifies the expressed emotionalized attitudes by a reflection of what the client has expressed; and by the very process of non-directive therapy, it offers the individual the opportunity to be himself, to learn to know himself, to chart his own course openly and above board … (p. 35).

If we try another chapter from the same school the effect is no different. We are face-to-face with at least two of the enemies of intellect, as Barzun (1959) has pertinently described them, the cult of art, and philanthropy, and we would agree wholeheartedly with him that

Though the genius of Freud was unswervingly intellectual it has given birth to a large progeny of adaptors, who, from generous as well as selfish motives, put philanthropy first. They mean to cure or at least to 'help' at any cost.

In the midst of so much that is sincere, but ineffectual, it is a relief to come across extracts from the work of Anna Freud, Erikson, and some other psycho-analysts. There is a good longish case record from Fraiberg, and relationship therapy is well represented by Allen. In spite of this, the book as a whole can be of little value to psycho-analysts and it is doubtful whether the lay reader, lacking a sense of perspective, could gain any fruitful knowledge of psycho-analytic research from its pages.

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