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Hill, L.B. (1956). Interpretation of Schizophrenia: By Silvano Arieti, M.D. New York: Robert Brunner, 1955. 522 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:98-99.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:98-99

Interpretation of Schizophrenia: By Silvano Arieti, M.D. New York: Robert Brunner, 1955. 522 pp.

Review by:
Lewis B. Hill

This book is 'intended for the private psychiatrist who practices psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy and treats ambulatory patients, as well as for physicians working in hospitals with the most advanced cases'. The author acknowledges indebtedness to the faculty of the William Alanson White Institute of New York. The sections devoted to psychodynamics and treatment of schizophrenia show the influence of Sullivan and Fromm-Reichmann. This reviewer prefers to read the original writings of those authors. Arieti shows little or no interest in current psychoanalytic concepts of ego psychology. He refers to interpretation of genetic and dynamic factors but does not reveal how he actually makes such interpretation.

Although little in this book will interest the psychoanalyst, he may read two sections with profit. The first discusses the psychological structure and formal mechanisms of schizophrenia. We read that 'the whole field of freudian symbolism from the formal point of view is based upon Von Doremus's principle'. The formal aspects of archaic thinking and experience are well discussed. The second is a section on psychosomatic aspects of schizophrenia, in which is presented forcefully and clearly the concept that the disorder of the central and autonomic nervous systems is not an organic etiological factor but is a secondary functional peculiarity arising as defense against anxiety in early childhood.

It should be noted that there are forty-four pages on psychotherapy and only seven on physical therapy.

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