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Gabbard, G.O. (1990). Introduction to Psychodynamics A New Synthesis by Mardi J. Horowitz New York: Basic Books, 1988, xii + 252 pp., $22.95. Psa. Books, 1(1):63-67.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Books, 1(1):63-67

Introduction to Psychodynamics A New Synthesis by Mardi J. Horowitz New York: Basic Books, 1988, xii + 252 pp., $22.95

Review by:
Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.

In an age where empirical validation of psychoanalytic principles is sorely needed, Mardi Horowitz has been one of a handful of psychoanalytic researchers who has responded to the challenge. With his colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco, he has systematically studied such topics as image formation, information processing in response to stress, brief psychotherapy, the therapeutic alliance, states of mind, and personality styles. More recently, he has directed a program designed to investigate the intricacies of conscious and unconscious mental processes in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation.

Introduction to Psychodynamics is in many ways a compilation of Horowitz's previous work. It is written in a style in keeping with its author's mission, which is to provide a beginning text for psychiatry residents and other students in the mental health professions. As the subtitle, “A New Synthesis” implies, the book is an integrative effort that brings together diverse schools and uses a new language to accomplish the task. Horowitz demonstrates considerable catholicity of taste when it comes to theories of the mind. While he accomplishes his avowed purpose of building bridges between ego psychology and object relations theory, the fabric he weaves also has threads of transactional analysis, self psychology, and cognitive science.

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