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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Niederland, W.G. (1958). Schizophrenia in Psychoanalytic Office Practice: Edited by Alfred H. Rifkin. New York and London: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1957. 150 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 27:420.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 27:420

Schizophrenia in Psychoanalytic Office Practice: Edited by Alfred H. Rifkin. New York and London: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1957. 150 pp.

Review by:
William G. Niederland

Appearing at a time when a relatively large and ever-increasing number of schizophrenic patients are being seen and treated by psychoanalytically oriented therapists in their daily office work, this slim volume is not without some merit. It consists of the papers presented by thirty authors of variegated provenience and experience at a symposium held, under the same title, in New York early in 1956, which was essentially devoted to a discussion of conceptual, structural, diagnostic-therapeutic, and related aspects of extramural schizophrenia. When different authors participate and their deliberations are offered in a compendium type collection of articles like this, the quality of the contributions is bound to be uneven and the relationship of the conceptual formulations to the observational material is not always clearly stated or elaborated. Nevertheless, the book contains a number of stimulating contributions such as a searching inquiry into the Nature of Extramural Schizophrenia by the late Lewis B. Hill, and highly readable papers by Zilboorg, Bychowski, and others. It also contains a good many passages which to this reviewer appear rather weak and unsatisfactory, e.g., one contributor's effort to negate the significance of unconscious processes in schizophrenic illness. After reading the volume, one is inclined to agree with Zilboorg's poignant formulation: 'I doubt whether it is possible today to arrive at a unitary understanding of the problem.'

On the whole, the editing is adequate and it is questionable whether more editing could have provided more clarification. One passage reads: 'Panic results when the area of unmastered activity, activity which is inadequately conceptualized and hence automatic and compulsive, is of such a nature that its exposure or threatened exposure, in connection with an event or series of events results, not simply in the temporary failure of consciousness and the experience of helplessness and anxiety, but rather in the threatened destruction of the structure of consciousness itself' (p. 84).

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