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Ekstein, R. (1975). Letters to Simon. On the Conduct of Psychotherapy: By I. H. Paul. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1973. 341 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 44:658-659.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 44:658-659

Letters to Simon. On the Conduct of Psychotherapy: By I. H. Paul. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1973. 341 pp.

Review by:
Rudolf Ekstein

I very much enjoyed reading Paul's letters to Simon and agree with him that an uncle, as he calls himself here, is important in the upbringing of children. Paul is quite right in cautioning that what and how the child learns from his uncle is different from what and how he learns from his father. A 'father' would certainly not be satisfied if his 'son' learned psychotherapy through a correspondence course.

In our field, as Paul has pointed out, gaining intellectual mastery of material by merely reading books, regardless of how well written or how much to the point, will not do. A father would send his son to an established professional school where psychotherapy or psychoanalysis is taught; uncles would merely add to the contributions of individual supervision and the personal psychoanalysis of the student. That is the well-defined limit and scope of Paul's letters to Simon; they add to, and supplement, but do not comprise the total education.

I found the contents of Paul's letters most acceptable, very much within the scope of my own training. I even recognized, in the twenty-nine letters, a reading list incorporating all my past teachers, friends, and co-workers, and I feel very much identified with his conviction that his letters would broaden the knowledge of every psychotherapist. His notions of psychotherapy are based on sound psychoanalytic principles.

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