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Suth, A. (2011). Desire, Self, Mind and the Psychotherapies: Unifying Psychological Science and Psychoanalysis, by R. Coleman Curtis, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2008, 265 pp., $60.00. Psychoanal. Psychol., 28(1):154-161.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(1):154-161

Desire, Self, Mind and the Psychotherapies: Unifying Psychological Science and Psychoanalysis, by R. Coleman Curtis, Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2008, 265 pp., $60.00

Review by:
Andrew Suth, Ph.D.

Is the sky falling in psychoanalysis? Many have been asking this recently. The threats are real. They have been written about extensively, discussed at recent conferences, and rightfully fretted about in classrooms, consulting rooms, and public forums. It seems that the current drumbeat of attack against psychoanalysis and its contributions has, as Paul Stepansky (2009) states, put psychoanalysis “at the margins.” It is this question that has become the sine qua non. And it is this question that R. Coleman Curtis attempts to answer in her new book Desire, Self, Mind and the Psychotherapies: Unifying Psychological Science and Psychoanalysis. For many years, Curtis has dedicated her work to the integration of psychoanalysis with other disciplines within psychology and psychotherapy. In her book, Curtis hypothesizes that advances in psychoanalysis and in the broader field of psychology make it possible to achieve common ground between disciplines. The goal of integration is clearly a passion for her, and she infuses the book with a hope that there can be mutual recognition of the contributions of psychoanalysis with the rest of the field of psychology in a way not possible before two major trends: the “affective revolution” and the recognition across disciplines of unconscious processes. She argues that this is necessary for both disciplines. Curtis' work is an elaborate and impressively researched volume that carefully lays out the argument that psychoanalysis must abandon dated ideas and instead must present relevant science to support key suppositions.

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