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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Joyce, K. (1992). Psychoanalytic Knowledge. Eugene Brody. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1990, 211 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 17(1):118-119.

(1992). Modern Psychoanalysis, 17(1):118-119

Psychoanalytic Knowledge. Eugene Brody. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1990, 211 pp.

Review by:
Kathleen Joyce

Social science, including psychology, emphasizes the social context for behavior, while biology and genetics look more at early development, interaction of genes with the early environment, and at individual behaviour. Eugene Broady, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, examines the “crucial fundamentals” of Freud's theory and attempts to unite the two basic research streams stemming from the psychoanalytic body of knowledge.

The opening chapter criticizes psychoanalysis for its lack of cultural context and for its topographic theory of a dynamic unconscious. It is suggested that the unconscious can simply be explained by selection attention, since it is known that two ideas cannot coexist in the same place. Brody does not believe in the existence of an unconscious which cannot be easily retrieved in the analytic process.

Brody looks at the analytic process in computer information processor terms. Just as a computer program regulates the system, so the analyst regulates the analysis. It/he takes in stimuli, and uses its/his internal structure (unconscious) to process the stimuli which is then fed back to the patient. Brody's analytic system rejects the concept of a dynamic unconscious that contains repressed material and operates through primary process. Drives and impulses are not part of his model. Brody defends this position by noting that as late as 1899 Freud used the idea of selective attention rather than active repression to explain the unconscious.

Following Freud's original theory of repression, Brody proposes an information processing mechanism which organizes stimuli into language based on cultural, anthropological and linguistic rules.

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