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Herold, C.M. (1943). Der Gehemmte Mensch (The Inhibited Human Being): By Harald Schultz-Hencke. Leipzig: Georg Thieme Verlag, 1940. 323 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:270-274.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:270-274

Der Gehemmte Mensch (The Inhibited Human Being): By Harald Schultz-Hencke. Leipzig: Georg Thieme Verlag, 1940. 323 pp.

Review by:
Carl M. Herold

The author calls his book in the subtitle, Foundations of a Desmology as a Contribution to Depth-Psychology. Desmology, as he explains, coming from the Greek Desmos: fetter, means therefore a theory of 'inhibition'. Accordingly he promises (p. 316, footnote) a book called Technique of Desmolysis. As inhibition stands in the center of not only neurotic but also normal psychology, the term 'Desmolysis' promises to be the top achievement of the author's linguistic purge of all freudian technical terms: it is destined to replace the anathematized word 'Psychoanalysis' once and for ever.

It is no doubt true that the deeper psychoanalysis searches into psychic problems, the more it is hampered by certain theoretical concepts which complicate rather than illuminate the issues. This is due chiefly to the central position of the drives in its theoretical structure. Freud reduced all the different strivings to two groups of drives, the sexual and the destructive. But in essence this reduction is still based on the primitive concept of drive as a preformed specific energy, with preformed specific aims. Originally Freud reduced the many 'strivings' to two drives as, for example, chemistry reduced the many compounds to relatively few elements. But just as chemistry in its further investigation of matter reduces the elements to still fewer, still more primitive agents, psychoanalysis is on the way toward doing the same with the concepts of drives. There are several authors who take this route toward further scientific penetration of our problems and Freud himself, in his Outline of Psychoanalysis, opens the way to such an approach by stating that 'the possibility of draining off quantities of excitation is of more importance than anything else to the id'.

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