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Waugaman, R.M. (2013). Paradigms in Psychoanalysis: An Integration. By Marco Bacciagaluppi. London: Karnac, 2012. 296 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 82(4):1031-1036.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 82(4):1031-1036

Book Reviews

Paradigms in Psychoanalysis: An Integration. By Marco Bacciagaluppi. London: Karnac, 2012. 296 pp.

Review by:
Richard M. Waugaman

Marco Bacciagaluppi must be a fascinating conversationalist. His knowledge is impressively broad while his curiosity is lively and infectious. In this intriguing book on the interpersonal/relational tradition in psychoanalysis, he ambitiously seeks to integrate an unusually wide range of intellectual perspectives with psychoanalytic theory. Whether or not he succeeds, his book serves as an introduction and a review of many relevant topics. Bacciagaluppi modestly acknowledges that his nine chosen paradigms “are a rather motley collection” (p. xix).

He agrees with Freud that we should try to avoid “the narcissism of small differences” (p. xix) when forging theoretical integrations. And he approvingly cites Freud's model of the “complemental series” (p. 7) as one framework for combining divergent causal explanations. Reading his personal synthesis challenges the reader to become more conscious of her own. Bacciagaluppi considers attachment theory to be “the most powerful conceptual tool we have at our disposal in psychoanalysis” (p. xix). He considers the “trauma paradigm” to be second in importance. His chapters on these two topics are his strongest. Four of the other chapters, only eight pages each, are disappointingly sketchy summaries of complex disciplines.

Since 1988, Bacciagaluppi has been a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Erich Fromm Institute of Neofreudian Psychoanalysis in Bologna, Italy. Not surprisingly, he returns to Fromm's contributions repeatedly during the book, trying to rectify what he perceives as an unjust neglect of Fromm's work by other psychoanalysts.

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1 He lists these as genetics, neurobiology, attachment theory, infant research, trauma, the relational model, the family system, the sociocultural level, and prehistory.

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