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Morrel, A. (1992). The Work of Hans Loewald: An Introduction and Commentary. Gerald I. Fogel, Ed. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1991. 209 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 17(2):271-275.

(1992). Modern Psychoanalysis, 17(2):271-275

The Work of Hans Loewald: An Introduction and Commentary. Gerald I. Fogel, Ed. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1991. 209 pp.

Review by:
Andrew Morrel

This volume was put together as a labor of love by Gerald Fogel who freely acknowledges the profound impact that Loewald's ideas have had on his professional development. The book is organized around Loewald's seminal paper, “On the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis.” which provides an excellent overview of Loewald's lifelong theoretical concerns. The article is reprinted in its entirely along with essays on its by three “major psychoanalytic thinkers” (Arnold Cooper, Roy Schafer, and Lawrence Friedman). These essays are followed by two shorter Loewald articles (included at his request)—“Superego and time” and “Psychoanalysis as an art and the fantasy character of the psychoanalytic situation”—and Fogel closes the book with a detailed review and synthesis of the entire body of Loewald's work.

Fogel and the three commentators are all “liberal” classical analysts with a commitment to adapting traditional theory in light of recent clinical developments, and it's interesting to note which aspects of Loewald's rich and varied writings they choose to focus on. Thus, Cooper emphasizes Loewald's view of psychoanalysis as inherently interactive and interpersonals; he also emphasized Loewald's explicit rejection of “closed system” models that describe the analyst as an uninvolved observer and interpreter. He seems particularly to value the fact that Loewald has distilled the essential contributions of Sullivan and Kohut and integrated them into an analytic world view that is far more compatible with classical formulations than had previously been thought possible.

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