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(1974). Book Notices. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:697-706.
(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:697-706
BEYOND THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD. By Joseph Goldstein, Anna Freud, Albert J. Solnit. New York: The Free Press, 1973, 170 pp., $7.95.
This is a concise treatise on the legal, psychoanalytic, and psychiatric aspects of the suffering, danger, and damage inflicted on children undergoing placement proceedings in law courts and placement agencies. It is an important, an exciting, and a compassionate book. It is important as the extraordinarily successful collaboration of three distinguished authors, coming from such radically different disciplines as jurisprudence, psychoanalytic child therapy, theory, and research, and child psychiatry. Each of the authors is foremost in his discipline; together they formulated a critique of the existing laws, regulations, and procedures applying to placement. Basing themselves on vast clinical, observational, and codified bibliographic material, they deal with the single items of their critique and formulate a jurisprudential statute, as well as guidelines for its application. Statute and guidelines are inspired by the best established and most advanced clinical experience and research findings of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and developmental psychology. The reconciliation of these with jurisprudential principles and due process of law results in the statute and guidelines formulated.
This method is important as a model for overcoming the huge communication gap between the nomothetic methods of jurisprudence and the experimental, causal, existential methods of developmental, behavioral, and psychological sciences. The success of the authors' model holds the promise that, in the future, psychoanalysts may attempt comparable applications of their knowledge in other fields.
The book is exciting in its systematic interdisciplinary approach to a vast sector of human suffering that has been too long ignored.
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