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Meyer, J.K. (1994). Psychoanalytic Case Studies: Edited by G. Pirooz Sholevar and Jules Glenn. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1991, 286 pp., $36.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:934-937.
(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:934-937
Psychoanalytic Case Studies: Edited by G. Pirooz Sholevar and Jules Glenn. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1991, 286 pp., $36.00.
Review by: Jon K. Meyer, M.D.
The book consists of four case studies and eight discussions, formatted so that each case is followed by two expositions. Cases of Rudolph M. Loewenstein, Leo Rangell, Irwin Rosen, and Calvin Colarusso are discussed, respectively, by Austin Silber and Edward Weinshel, Van Spruiell and Samuel Abrams, Alan Eisnitz and Edward D. Joseph, and Jules Glenn and Isidor Bernstein. An overview by Leo Rangell is an excellent synopsis of both cases and discussions and a bonus for the reader. As noted by the editors, the book does not belong in the same niche as Dewald's The Psychoanalytic Process(1972), since the cases are neither verbatim nor annotated to the same extent. The only case that comes close to a session-by-session presentation is Colarusso's report on a latency-age child. In any event, this book's purpose is different: psychoanalytic content and process were to be illustrated in a more synthetic form along with "the broad sweep of analysis" (p. 1). This last item, as implemented by case selection and discussions, is what makes the book an important contribution.
As Rangell notes in his overview, Psychoanalytic Case Studies offers a perspective on 50 years of patients and analytic approaches, as well as cross-sections of thinking and practice from the early careers of Loewenstein and Rangell himself. During that 50 years, one clinical trend has been the change from dramatic, symptom-focused to "low key, less dramatic …, but persistent, reliable and effective" analyses (p. 9). Nonetheless, as in a number of his other writings, Rangell emphasizes the value of earlier work in illustrating effort and skill in reconstruction, process as a means toward a reconstructive end, an appreciation of psychodynamics, the interrelatedness of preoedipal and oedipal factors with the preeminence of the latter, and the central importance of castrationanxiety.
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