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Mehlman, R.D. (1987). Psychoanalysis and its Discontents. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:303-307.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:303-307

Psychoanalysis and its Discontents

Review by:
Robert D. Mehlman

The title of this series of essays does not do justice to the quality and depth of the personal statement and exposure it represents. In what could initially be seen as another explication of the chronic manifest disorders of an inherently puzzling discipline, John Gedo presents a medley of perspectives on a variety of psychoanalytic, theoretical, clinical, political, intellectual and pedagogic issues. These reflect as much as anything else the breadth of his personal involvement and versatility within the field, the depth of the intellect he brought to it, and the affect that has enlivened his pursuit.

The frankness and exposure of these personal statements, some of which would appear to go somewhat beyond prudence if, in the service of self-consciousness, there was an effort to avoid criticism itself, is paradoxically the book's most valuable and unusual component. In this context, an open and personal statement of so experienced and devoted a clinician is a rare treat. Most of the chapters can stand on their own as separate essays with disparate and distinct intrinsic qualities despite the fact that they are loosely united by a sequentially more personal exposure which appears with each successive part.

He describes the book as an effort to complete the cycle of his life's work by contrasting his views and their applications in the treatment setting with competing proposals of others. He then gives a report of the actual therapeutic results obtained by his technical innovations and gives examples of innovations in the clinical setting.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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