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Wallerstein, R.S. (1982). The Psychoanalytic Vision: A Controversial Reappraisal of the Freudian Revolution. By Reuben Fine. New York: The Free Press. 1981. Pp. 577.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:360-363.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:360-363

The Psychoanalytic Vision: A Controversial Reappraisal of the Freudian Revolution. By Reuben Fine. New York: The Free Press. 1981. Pp. 577.

Review by:
Robert S. Wallerstein

Reuben Fine is in love with psychoanalysis, and out of that love affair he has created his version of the Psychoanalytic Vision. His is a terribly ambitious book, attempted on a truly grand scale, and unhappily it is equally terribly flawed—persistently grandiose when it essays to be grand, too often tendentious or shrill—and emerges not serving well enough the values that it espouses, so many of which I share so thoroughly with it. The author's starting point is that of the statement of an unhappy, all too true, but not as simplistically and universally true as he declares, assessment of the current state of psychoanalysis, 'the field has become divided into visionaries who lack technique and technicians who lack vision. It would be an enormous step forward if the two, vision and technique, could once again be combined' (p. 106). (Parenthetically, the author is trying, throughout the book, to speak of and for psychoanalysis worldwide, but his psychoanalytic examples and data throughout are practically exclusively American, thus slipping into the cavalier assumption that the two can be readily equated, without ever making this parochialism explicit or even seeming to be aware of it—among the book's minor failings.)

It is this division of our enterprise, described by the author as between the visionary and the technical (for the latter, read, preoccupation with training standards, the hegemony of the Institutes as training institutions, concern with credentials, the maintenance of psychoanalysis as a medical healing discipline and therefore organically linked to psychiatry and the treatment of the designated mentally ill, the fears for one's livelihood and the competition of the marketplace—he means them all), that the author grandly sets out to overcome.

[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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