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Rey, H. (1991). Current and Historical Perspectives on the Borderline Patient: Edited by Reuben Fine. New York: Brunner/Mazel. 1989. Pp. 434.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 72:177-180.

(1991). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 72:177-180

Current and Historical Perspectives on the Borderline Patient: Edited by Reuben Fine. New York: Brunner/Mazel. 1989. Pp. 434.

Review by:
Henri Rey

This book is the first number of a series entitled 'Monographs of the Society for Psychoanalytic Training'. As its title indicates, the book deals with the historical background as well as with current issues on the borderline concept. The first part reviews the historical background of psychiatry, divided at the time into psychosis and neurosis. It was mostly Kraeplinian psychiatry and the lot of schizophrenics was a fatalistic one. However, Harry Stack Sullivan (1931) came on the scene, using a form of psychoanalytical psychotherapy, who claimed remarkable results, very different from the Kraeplinian doom. Some praised him, others doubted the results. But nevertheless, things began to be different.

Manfred Bleuler, the son of Eugen, was much more optimistic about the treatment of schizophrenics after a lifetime spent with schizophrenics (1979). So, nevertheless, if not for the average psychiatrist who remained Kraeplinian, hope was beginning to dawn in some ways.

Part II, 'Theoretical perspectives', begins by dealing with the importance of something existing between schizophrenia on the one hand and neurosis or normality on the other.

Before dealing with the emergence of the borderline concept, a word must be said about Ernest Jones, the only non-American included in the book. In his address to the Institute of Psychiatry at Columbia University (1929), Ernest Jones praised American Psychiatry as being the only psychiatry worthwhile in the world as comparatively little existed in Europe. This advance was due to the part played by psychoanalysis, and in that address, Jones made the statement: 'All mental morbidity … is a state of schizophrenia'. This statement demands enlargement, of course, but seems to join a similar thought of Freud.

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