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Wallerstein, R.S. (1986). Psychoanalysis and its Discontents: By John E. Gedo, M.D. New York/London: The Guilford Press, 1984. 209 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 55:323-334.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:323-334

Psychoanalysis and its Discontents: By John E. Gedo, M.D. New York/London: The Guilford Press, 1984. 209 pp.

Review by:
Robert S. Wallerstein

This, the sixth in a sequence of books that John Gedo has authored (in two instances, with co-authors), he regards as the capstone to his edifice, the completion of his cycle of work, over the course of which he has "attempted to survey anew the major themes of psychoanalytic discourse" (Discontents, p. ix), an ambitious claim which he is fully justified in advancing. His declared effort in all of this is to create a new, better ordered, more coherent, and more comprehensive clinical theory for psychoanalysis, although he seems uncertain of the degree to which this becomes a commitment to an equally revised metapsychology, as I, for one, think that in his case it does. On the latter issue he has said, for example when responding to a group of critical essays evaluating his book, Beyond Interpretation, that that book focused on matters of specific psychoanalytic expertise which are "embodied in a unified and inclusive clinical theory. The clinical theory is, in turn, designed to articulate with a metapsychology based on


1 The prior five are: 1) Models of the Mind: A Psychoanalytic Theory (1973). With Arnold Goldberg. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press; 2) Freud: The Fusion of Science and Humanism; The Intellectual History of Psychoanalysis (1976). Co-edited with George H. Pollock. New York: Int. Univ. Press; 3) Beyond Interpretation: Toward a Revised Theory for Psychoanalysis (1979). New York: Int. Univ. Press; 4) Advances in Clinical Psychoanalysis (1981). New York: Int. Univ. Press; and 5) Portraits of the Artist: Psychoanalysis of Creativity and Its Vicissitudes (1983). New York/London: Guilford Press.

2 A page number preceded by Discontents indicates a quotation from the book under review here; all other page numbers cited pertain to quotations from Psychoanalytic Inquiry, Vol. 1, 1981.

3 Commentaries on John Gedo's Beyond Interpretation (1981). Psychoanal. Inquiry, 1:163-319. The commentaries were provided by Ann Appelbaum, Paul A. Dewald, Merton M. Gill, W. W. Meissner, Leo Rangell, and Hanna Segal and Ronald Britton, with a response by John E. Gedo.

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