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Friedman, P. (1950). Emotional Security: By Milton R. Sapirstein. New York: Crown Publishers, 1948. 291 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 19:425-425.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:425-425

Emotional Security: By Milton R. Sapirstein. New York: Crown Publishers, 1948. 291 pp.

Review by:
Paul Friedman

This belated review in no way lessens the value of this provocative book. It contains a wealth of material. The bibliography bears witness to the author's extensive knowledge of the psychoanalytic literature. In his presentation he uses graphic illustrations to clarify the discussion of psychic processes. For the most part the book reads well, is well organized, and the concepts used are clearly defined.

Dr. Sapirstein attempts an integration of the libido theory with the more recent modifications of psychoanalytic theory, which emphasize the role of interpersonal factors in emotional development.

In the first part of the book the author deals with the causes of emotional breakdown, and discusses the roles of possible constitutional inadequacy and overwhelming environmental demands, as well as individual psychic factors. Fear and withdrawal, self-assertion or hostility, and dependency are posited as the three basic defenses against anxiety. Maladjustment is defined in terms of the inappropriate use of these defenses.

The second section deals with psychosexual development as seen against the background of contemporary cultural attitudes toward sexuality.

The third part, Special Applications of Psychoanalytic Theory, discusses such problems as hostility, aggression, traumatic neuroses of war, psychosomatic disorders as manifestations of neurosis, creativity and psychoanalytic therapy. The reader may come away with the impression that all that is said in the chapter on therapy is psychoanalysis. Indeed, the role of the analyst and the attributes ascribed to him, as well as many therapeutic procedures presented, go far beyond the accepted concept of psychoanalytic therapy. It is to be hoped that in a future edition this confusing ambiguity will be eliminated.

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