Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access the PEP-Web Facebook pageā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

PEP-Web has a Facebook page! You can access it by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Harris, H.I. (1956). Disorders of Character: By Joseph J. Michaels, M.D. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas, 1955. 148 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:106.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:106

Disorders of Character: By Joseph J. Michaels, M.D. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas, 1955. 148 pp.

Review by:
Herbert I. Harris

This book is a most stimulating study of neurosis, juvenile delinquency, and the psychopathic personality. With the possible exception of the early chapters, which contain an impressive mass of statistical data, almost every page presents something original and attractive.

Michaels' central thesis is the parallel between control of the sphincters, especially the urethral sphincter, and control of primitive unconscious impulses. The development of sphincter control is in part a physical, in part an emotional act of repression. As an anlage of true repression, sphincter control may contribute to development of all the controlling mechanisms in the personality. The resulting character ranges from the impulsive psychopath, whose weak ego occasionally succumbs to the overwhelming impulses of the id in a transitory psychotic state, to the severe obsessive-compulsive whose excessive controls at times produce a folie de doute.

So brief a summary of the book is unjust to the author's wealth of ideas and clinical experience. Michaels, like Freud, has a background in neurology and neurophysiology; even the organically minded reader should be impressed. Psychic and somatic phenomena are admirably correlated.

The author is to be congratulated on a carefully planned and thoroughly documented contribution to psychiatric literature.

[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.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.