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Shainberg, D. (1968). The Intrapsychic Self. By Silvano Arieti. M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1967, $ 12.50.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 28(2):216-218.

(1968). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 28(2):216-218

The Intrapsychic Self. By Silvano Arieti. M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1967, $ 12.50.

Review by:
David Shainberg, M.D.

Outlining the anatomy, gross and microscopic, of the mind is the aim of this excellent new book. It explores the forms of the normal inner workings of thought and feeling and then moves on toward a deeper comprehension of psychopathology and creativity. It “is meant to be a prerequisite to the study of the interpersonal and a forerunner of attempts to integrate the intrapsychic with the interpersonal.”

The first half is a study of the “evolving of the self.” Arieti traces this process in the context of the microgenetic, ontogenetic, and phylogenetic history of each function—thinking, feeling, willing, and perceiving. First are the simplest feelings, sensations, which are purely physical until there is awareness. The simplest experienced feelings are called the physio-sensations including hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Next are proto-emotions which are not localizable to one organ or to one state of functioning. Included here are tension, appetite, fear, rage, and satisfaction. At each level there are differences in the nature of the experiences. These proto-emotions involve bodily changes and inform the body that something is happening to it. They are concerned with the present and are tied to a present stimulus.

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