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Meyers, R.S. (1994). Psychic Structure and Psychic Change. Mardi J. Horowitz, Otto F. Kernberg and Edward M. Weinshel, eds. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993. 373 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 19(1):110-112.
   

(1994). Modern Psychoanalysis, 19(1):110-112

Psychic Structure and Psychic Change. Mardi J. Horowitz, Otto F. Kernberg and Edward M. Weinshel, eds. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993. 373 pp.

Review by:
Ruth S. Meyers

This volume, a festchrift in honor of Robert Wallerstein, consists of an introduction by the editors, fourteen essays by Wallerstein's colleagues and associates, along with a bibliography of his scientific writings. Essays include topics that reflect areas of particular interest to Wallerstein and were chosen in consultation with him. Despite doubts and questions posed by some of the contributors, the central premise of this collection is that change as a result of psychotherapy involves alteration of psychological meaning structures. The editors phrase the question as: “How does structure, not as anatomy but as retained knowledge and meaning, change during an analytic process?” This central hermeneutic model precludes an uncritical reading by modern analysts. Although the writers are not focussed on unconscious motives for behavior, their clinical and research experience, attention to drive derivatives and choice of case studies contribute to a serious consideration of their articles.

In the opening essay, “Personality structure and the process of change, “Horowitz provides a series of diagrams to illustrate his conceptual framework for observing therapeutic change. Schematically minded readers will find this helpful. We would agree that change occurs in the modifications of processes demonstrated in the transference. We differ with Horowitz in his belief that inhibitions and fears which arise from the unconscious can be overridden solely by conscious efforts once they are brought into the transference.

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