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Scott, W.C. (1934). The Nature and Treatment of Amentia. By L. Pierce Clark. (Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1933. Pp. 306. Price 12 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:93.

(1934). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 15:93

The Nature and Treatment of Amentia. By L. Pierce Clark. (Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1933. Pp. 306. Price 12 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
W. Clifford Scott

Dr. Clark introduces the topic with fifty pages devoted to a summary of psycho-analytical theory and concludes with fifty pages in which the social implications of mental defect and his attitude to combined analytical and educational treatment are discussed. The body of the book describes the behaviour, both social and in analysis, of eleven patients. The descriptions are interspersed by discussions of the psycho-analytic implications of the data given. Two male idiots, four male and one female defectives with mental ages between four and half and nine, two females with defects secondary to epilepsy and two high-grade male defectives constitute the material.

The records are unique and furnish instructive reading. The patient persistence necessary to make such observations is certainly to be admired. The older views of primary narcissism are always to the fore and anxiety is little discussed. The author notes the absence of neurotic reaction formations and the presence of excitements, depressions and delusional formations. Unfortunately the importance of introjection and projection mechanisms in connection with the inhibitions observed is not discussed. The analytic sessions reported seem to be along the line of urging ventilation and tolerating the effects produced rather than interpreting the specific anxiety of the moment as in child analysis.

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