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Kernberg, O.F. (1976). Ego Psychology: Theory and Practice: By Gertrude and Rubin Blanck. New York and London: Columbia University Press. 1974. Pp. 395.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:362-363.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:362-363

Ego Psychology: Theory and Practice: By Gertrude and Rubin Blanck. New York and London: Columbia University Press. 1974. Pp. 395.

Review by:
Otto F. Kernberg

The first part of this book reviews contributions to psychoanalytic ego psychology, starting with a brief outline of the development of Freud's thinking in this area, followed by succinct summaries of the contributions of Hartmann, Kris and Loewenstein, Spitz, Mahler, Jacobson, Kernberg and Kohut. The second applies these concepts to the carrying out of long-term, intensive, psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The book is geared, therefore, to psychoanalytically orientated psychotherapists as well as to psychoanalysts. The precise summaries of the contributions of the authors mentioned are formulated in ways which make them clearly understandable to the former. Indeed, for the psychiatric resident and other mental health professionals interested in recent developments of psychoanalytic theory, they constitute an excellent introduction to contemporary ego psychology. These summaries will also be very useful for the psychoanalytic candidate as an overview and as a general introduction to a more detailed study of the work of the various authors included. For example, I do not know of a better condensation of Margaret Mahler's work in only eight pages.

Gertrude and Rubin Blanck's orientation to psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a blend of the best traditions of advanced ego psychological approaches to psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a specific developmental model based upon Mahler's thinking. I agree with their emphasis on Mahler's contributions, and I wish they had been more explicit in stating their theoretical reasons for selecting Mahler's approach as their basic underlying theory for the section on technique.

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