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Hott, L.R. (1961). Discussions. Am. J. Psychoanal., 21(2):276-278.

(1961). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 21(2):276-278


Louis R. Hott, M.D.

These four principal studies just presented are absorbing observations about alienation and its resulting effects on the total personality when viewed individually. However, I would like to view these papers collectively and as an integrated, symbolic composite in a study of the alienated patient in therapy. For example, Dr. DeRosis’ comments are good illustrations of the alienated patient who first enters therapy with his overt and covert reasons for seeking help. Dr. Becker's paper illustrates the interaction of the alienated patient to the group situation which could represent environmental influences. Dr. Sheiner's paper is an engrossing study of the methods, and possibilities, of working through and within the alienation process itself in analysis. And, finally, Dr. Maslow's paper can be viewed as the symbolic expression of the immediate results of the therapy of alienation—when alienation subsides and the patient, freed of constricting and obstructing forces, can release the energies of his constructive self, with its spontaneity and well-being, with its capabilities for enjoying life in all its aspects. As a result of this realization of his real self and real potential and the sudden experience of this new-found freedom, an ecstatic experiencing of peak expression results in “being” for the first time.

To be more explicit, Dr. DeRosis brings to us an interesting concept of the patient entering treatment in search of a self which he says he may once have experienced and wishes now to return, or to rediscover, and from which he feels separated and alienated.

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