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Peck, M.W. (1936). Psychoanalysis Explained: By Dorothy R. Blitzsten. New York: Coward McCann, Inc., 1936. 66 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 5:610.

(1936). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 5:610

Psychoanalysis Explained: By Dorothy R. Blitzsten. New York: Coward McCann, Inc., 1936. 66 pp.

Review by:
Martin W. Peck

This small volume is from the pen of a woman trained in medicine and sociology and the wife of a well-known analyst. There is a friendly introduction by Dr. A. A. Brill. The booklet is well written, furnishes pleasant reading, and as far as it goes is a sound presentation. Theoretical, applied and research features of psychoanalysis are omitted, and the subject is discussed solely from the therapeutic angle. The author selects for special emphasis the free association technique and the actual emotional experience of the subject while undergoing analysis. This reliving of formative personality mechanisms in the transference is the most puzzling phase of the therapy to the inexperienced, and it is difficult to give life to it on the written page. In this case the matter is expounded with a wealth of ingenious simile and analogy which will no doubt be clarifying to many readers. There is a discussion of the bisexuality of man and of certain psychological complications which may arise therefrom, but no direct reference is made to infantile sexuality. Sound observations are made on the relation of psychoanalysis to psychiatry and the proper training and qualifications for practicing analysts. This is essentially a popular exposition and might with some condensation have appeared as a magazine article. Those who read it should gain respect for psychoanalysis and a new awareness of therapeutic procedure, but for any real understanding of the subject as a whole aid from supplementary sources will be necessary.

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