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Cancro, R. (1977). Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: Edited by John G. Gunderson, M.D. and Loren R. Mosher, M.D. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1975. 441 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:538-540.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:538-540

Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: Edited by John G. Gunderson, M.D. and Loren R. Mosher, M.D. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1975. 441 pp.

Review by:
Robert Cancro

There has been a long and close relationship between psychoanalysis and the psychotherapy of schizophrenia. Despite Freud's reservations about the efficacy of psychoanalysis in psychosis, a number of outstanding workers have devoted a major portion of their professional efforts to the psychological treatment of schizophrenia. The esteem in which many of these colleagues are held has obscured our view of the utility of psychotherapy as an intervention. The dedication to the individual patient required for this kind of work and demonstrated by colleagues such as Fromm-Reichmann is so inspiring that it makes it difficult for the observer to be objective about the method as opposed to the practitioner. Furthermore, it becomes an easy matter to describe the method as nongeneralizable, unteachable, and unique to a particular person.

With the advent of the psychopharmacologic era in psychiatry, the intensive psychotherapy of schizophrenia fell into increasing disuse. The ambivalence with which the great psychotherapists were viewed became manifest. While the reality of their clinical work was not denied, the merit and utility of their accomplishments were rejected. Many critics argued that psychotherapy was both expensive and ineffective. The defenders of the treatment were few in number, and they tended to retreat within institutional settings which were committed to its practice. This book does much to bring some visibility and perspective to the role of psychotherapy in the treatment of schizophrenia.

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