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Zeitz, J.A. (1982). An Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis. By A. E. Bernstein & G. M. Warner. New York: Jason Aronson. 1981. Pp. 237.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:359-360.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:359-360

An Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis. By A. E. Bernstein & G. M. Warner. New York: Jason Aronson. 1981. Pp. 237.

Review by:
John A. Zeitz

This book will be of interest to psychoanalytic teachers and beginning students of psychoanalysis. As a text, it provides an overview of theory and practice. Students will find it useful because abundant clinical case illustrations are included which demonstrate a close connexion to theory. Drs Bernstein and Warner include their own clinical work at many points in order to explain basic psychoanalytic concepts. Their aim in this book is fairly expansive in that they discuss basic theory, sketch out the general evolution of psychoanalysis, and explore clinical syndromes. They also attempt to expose some areas of current debate in psychoanalysis and provide a summary view of what is involved in a typical treatment experience. It is not surprising that the authors are unable to discuss in the kind of detail or depth that more sophisticated readers would want.

They decide on an historical approach beginning with Freud's essential discoveries in the late 1890s regarding unconscious phenomena such as transference, dreams, and parapraxes. After they lay out the background of the topographic theory, they move on to the structural and anxiety theories and touch briefly on such basics as resistance, the intrapsychic apparatus, and defence mechanisms. Many of the complexities of the role of unconscious fantasy in symptom formation as well as Freud's route to his evolving theories are left for more advanced texts. The end of the initial theoretical section of the book focuses on pregenital sexuality and perversions as part of Freud's discoveries concerning infantile sexuality.

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