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Harkavy, E.E. (1949). The Case Book of a Medical Psychologist: By Charles Berg, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1948. 260 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:100-101.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:100-101

The Case Book of a Medical Psychologist: By Charles Berg, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1948. 260 pp.

Review by:
Edward E. Harkavy

When Freud was living in London, in 1939, he wrote a letter to Dr. Berg in which he excused himself on the ground of long illness for not having read all the reprints which Berg had sent him. 'I have to say, I liked what I had read', he commented and went on to state his '… suspicions against the technique of analysts who have made the popularization of analysis their aim. Psychoanalysis might never become popular. Yet, I am glad to say, I think you are doing good work.'

With such an introduction, one could only expect the pleasure of good clinical writing. So much the greater is one's disappointment. In the twenty-five cases chosen for publication, nothing goes much beyond Freud's Studies in Hysteria. Masochism, narcissism, anxiety and pregenitality are hardly mentioned. Dr. Berg speaks about them didactically and well; but the case material itself is monotonously sexual, the sort of thing which used to supply ammunition to the early detractors of psychoanalysis.

Students may learn something from Berg's induction of patients into treatment, but the one extensive case presentation, Analysis of a War Neurosis, is almost a model of what psychoanalysis is not: the analyst talks nearly as much as the patient.

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