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Gill, M.M. (1994). Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis: By Stephen A. Mitchell. New York: Basic Books. 1993. Pp. 285 + xiii.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:847-850.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:847-850

Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis: By Stephen A. Mitchell. New York: Basic Books. 1993. Pp. 285 + xiii.

Review by:
Merton M. Gill

This important volume continues the work of Greenberg & Mitchell's Object Relations in Psychoanalysis(1983) and Mitchell's Relational Theory in Psychoanalysis(1988). Mitchell continues to see his position as revolutionary in contrast to the evolutionary view of psychoanalysis as articulated by Arnold Rothstein and espoused by mainstream classical analysis. The undeniably increasing attention to the interaction between analyst and analysand in mainstream analysis is not enough for Mitchell; he also wants to overthrow Freudian drive theory. Mitchell defines the latter in ways which are regarded as obsolete in several recent discussions contrasting classical and relational theory (Bachant & Richard, 1993), (with a reply by Mitchell, 1993, and a discussion of papers by Bachant, Richards & Lynch, Murray, Busch, Sugarman & Wilson, by Modell and myself in Psychoanalytic Psychology, in press).

Mitchell defines Freudian drive theory—and it is crucial to note that it is Freudian drive theory which is in question, not all drive theory—as positing a pre-psychological, innate push from within of sexuality and aggression. The defenders of classical theory insist that modern Freudian drive theory sees sexual and aggressive drives not as pre-psychological, but as formed in the context of early experience. I think both parties exaggerate somewhat; Mitchell the extent to which Freudian drive theory is pre-psychological, and the classical analysts the extent to which they regard drives as formed in the context of early experiences.

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