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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Niederland, W.G. (1961). Hysteria, Reflex, and Instinct: By Ernst Kretschmer. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1960. 162 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 30:275-276.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 30:275-276

Hysteria, Reflex, and Instinct: By Ernst Kretschmer. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1960. 162 pp.

Review by:
William G. Niederland

From time to time a book is published, the reading of which gives the analyst not only a brief and often well-deserved respite from his work, but also offers him an opportunity to consider and survey his own clinical findings and theoretical concepts against the background of ideas expounded in nonanalytic quarters. Such a book is Kretschmer's present volume on hysteria and the formation of hysterical patterns. About thirty years ago, when Kretschmer's Physique and Character first appeared, this reviewer (then starting out in his profession) was impressed by what then seemed to be clear formulations, logical deductions, and bold thought and style. In that book, it was all a question of body build, of pyknic and asthenic constitutions, of skeletomuscular configurations, of bodily shape and anlage which determine the outcome of personality development in man. In the present volume, essentially an unchanged version of Kretschmer's old text on hysteria originally published after the first World War, it is mostly a matter of reflexes, volitional re-enforcement of their actions, 'voluntary hypertonization of the reflex sphere', and will—in fact, two wills. The author writes: 'What we really find [in a hysterical patient] is not merely two distinct tendencies, but two distinct types of will… The first will arises from motives, the second reacts to stimuli… The hypobulic type of will is the ontogenetic and phylogenetic lower stage of the purposive will… A hysterical syndrome results from the dissociation of the hypobulic will from the purposive will and its spasmodic dovetailing with an easily triggered reflex apparatus.'

That

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