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McLaughlin, J.T. (1983). Beyond Interpretation. Toward a Revised Theory for Psychoanalysis: By John E. Gedo, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1979. 280 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:271-280.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:271-280

Beyond Interpretation. Toward a Revised Theory for Psychoanalysis: By John E. Gedo, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1979. 280 pp.

Review by:
James T. McLaughlin

In going far "beyond interpretation," John Gedo has charted some bold alternatives to our familiar soundings of the mind. His coordinates are derived from those drawn in 1973 in collaboration with Arnold Goldberg, in which they hypothesized a progressive organization of the mind through five sequential childhood phases of birth, body boundary differentiation, consolidation of self-organization, superego formation, and formation of a repression barrier. Their intent was to demonstrate the relevance of each of Freud's models of the mind to a particular level of mental functioning. They applied his reflex arc model to the prepsychological mode following birth (Mode I), his tripartite model to the much higher, structural organization following superego formation (Mode IV), and his topographic model to the next higher (Mode V) level of conscious-preconscious tension. They filled the pregenital gap in this sequence with two improvisations drawn from object relations theory and studies of narcissism: a Mode II, initiated by body boundary differentiation, consisting of the nuclei of self and objects, and a Mode III, the consolidation of the self-organization.

Their substitution of "self" for "ego" reflected the wish to avoid the conception of "ego" as a superordinate regulatory system and to confine it to a place in the tripartite model as just one of three agencies involved in intrapsychic conflict. Their intent was to salvage from Freud's paradigms what they found acceptable, while scrapping the concept of psychic energy. They wanted to provide a frame and organization for the wide range of clinical phenomena being explored by contemporary psychoanalysts and to articulate a rationale for those aspects of analytic technique (pacification, unification, and holding) which always have been a part of analytic work but have not been given specific attention as such.

Now,

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