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Geró, G. (1973). Shame and Guilt in Neurosis: By Helen Block Lewis, Ph.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1971. 525 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 42:639-641.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:639-641

Shame and Guilt in Neurosis: By Helen Block Lewis, Ph.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1971. 525 pp.

Review by:
George Geró

The basic theme of this book is an analysis of the psychological states of shame and guilt and their relation to symptom formation in neurosis. The author uses different scientific methods for the investigation. She relies on experimental psychological studies, on phenomenological analysis of the affective states and on observations made during therapy sessions in establishing a connection between differences in perceptual style and form of neurosis and characterological types.

Possibly the most interesting aspect of the book is the tracing of connections between cognitive and emotional life. Experimental studies showed that there are differences in how people maintain their orientation in space. These differences have been demonstrated in experiments based on the observations of the late Max Wertheimer. Subjects were required to view objects through a mirror which tilted the reflected scene to forty-five degrees. Later, as the experiments were refined, the subject was seated in a darkened room and required to assess the position of a luminous stick within a tilted luminous framework. In other experiments subjects were seated in a small 'room' which could be tilted left and right as could the chair in which each subject was seated.

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