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Fliess, R. (1951). Elements of Psychoanalysis: edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Hans Herma, Ph.D., and Gertrud M. Kurth, Ph.D., Foreword by C. P. Oberndorf, M.D., Sol. W. Ginsburg, M.D., Advisory Editor. (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company. Pp. 333.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:326.
(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:326
Elements of Psychoanalysis: edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Hans Herma, Ph.D., and Gertrud M. Kurth, Ph.D., Foreword by C. P. Oberndorf, M.D., Sol. W. Ginsburg, M.D., Advisory Editor. (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company. Pp. 333.)
Review by: Robert Fliess
The headings under which these 'elements' are treated are: 1. Psychoanalytic Therapy; 2, Elementary Facts and Concepts; 3, Childhood and Adolescence; 4, Family Life; 5, Some Common Problems (Impotence and Frigidity, Masturbation, Homosexuality); 6, Psychosomatic Medicine; 7, Applied Psychoanalysis (Education, Religion, Politics).
The editors' purpose is in their own words 'to acquaint the reader with the basic discoveries of psycho-analysis and with some of the practical problems of living'. It is the lay reader whom they have in mind, and whose avid and ever-increasing interest commands publications such as these. Drs. Herma and Kurth have achieved their purpose in the words of Dr. Oberndorf's foreword 'through careful arrangement and discriminating selection' on the basis of their own 'thorough acquaintance with the subject matter'. The reviewer agrees with this judgment, although he feels that it is applicable in a varying degree to the different topics: some of these are more, others less suited to systematic treatment; to some psycho-analysis has contributed more than to others; some exist only because Freud has established them, others have hardly received his attention. Yet the balance is positive. From the study of several contributions, even students may profit: Hendrick's brilliant summaries on: 'Indications for Psycho-analysis' and 'Therapeutic Results' (two 'classics'), Brill's causerie on the everyday Freudian slip (lively rather than thorough but nevertheless instructive), Herma's admirable introduction to 'The Unconscious' (a model chapter demonstrating that one can speak to the layman while remaining a scientist), and Max Schur's article on 'Psycho-somatic Medicine' written especially for this collection and combining a systematic presentation of our scant knowledge with a candid exposé of our ignorance in the field.
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