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Olinick, S.L. (1991). Adult Analysis and Childhood Sexual Abuse: Edited by Howard B. Levine. Hillsdale, NJ, Hove and London: The Analytic Press. 1990. Pp. 211 + x.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:596-598.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:596-598

Adult Analysis and Childhood Sexual Abuse: Edited by Howard B. Levine. Hillsdale, NJ, Hove and London: The Analytic Press. 1990. Pp. 211 + x.

Review by:
Stanley L. Olinick

This book offers a learning experience as well as a stimulus to one's curiosity and thinking about a growing social phenomenon and its effect on the psychoanalyst and his work. The editor and the individual contributors, all psychoanalysts, have produced a volume that deals helpfully with an important and complex topic, that is presented in clear, readable style, and is rich in detail.

It is a difficult topic to approach, whether as therapist or as reviewer. One does not wish to overreact, but this is a surreal landscape of taboos violated, of anxieties, curiosity, and acts fascinating and revolting. The inherent dominant-submissive relatedness of the analytic situation may be augmented sado-masochistically, and transference and countertransference warped into literal enactments. In the light of what we know today, Freud's own courage in facing the topics of incest and child abuse, at the early time when he had begun his investigations, is extraordinary and astounding. By the way, the fact that he did not, contrary to recent assertions, completely renounce his findings of actual, traumatic, neurosogenic childhood sexual abuse is readily documented and need be stated here only for the record.

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