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Brierley, M. (1970). Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self: By Harry Guntrip. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1968. Pp. 437.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:540-546.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:540-546

Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self: By Harry Guntrip. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1968. Pp. 437.

Review by:
Marjorie Brierley

Harry Guntrip is a fluent and copious writer, enthusiastic about the 'psychodynamic science' he promotes and most genuinely committed to the welfare of his patients. His work is as 'clinically saturated' as he finds Winnicott's to be. In consequence this book, like its predecessor Personality Structure and Human Interaction (Hogarth, 1961), is packed with argument and clinical material supporting it. The author says: 'In it I have sought to rethink as a coherent whole the developing material of papers written since 1960, together with fresh clinical data' (p. 9). What he calls 'the moral standard' of educability, aiming at control of anti-social impulses, 'is relevant where a well-developed and integrated "self" exists, where basic ego-strength renders the "person" capable of accepting moral responsibility, and social education'. But the schizoid ego is unstable and insecure because 'the foundations of an adequate "self" were prevented from growing in infancy' (p. 10). For Guntrip, the term psycho- analysis misses 'the primary fact about human beings, namely their experience of themselves as that significant and meaningful "whole" which we call a "person"' (p. 10). The development of ego psychology, for which 'Freud himself provided the first impetus', has come to require 'a radical reorientation of theory'.

The book is in five parts. Part I (Chapters 1–3) gives a 'Clinical Description of the Schizoid Personality'. The 'shut-in' individual, like the patient who said in the consulting-room, 'I don't seem to come here', may be physically present but emotionally absent.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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