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Spiegel, L.A. (1954). Ego Psychology and the Psychoses: By Paul Federn, M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1952. 375 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:270-272.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:270-272

Ego Psychology and the Psychoses: By Paul Federn, M.D. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1952. 375 pp.

Review by:
Leo A. Spiegel

These are papers brought together and edited by Edoardo Weiss who writes an introductory review of Federn's ego psychology. Readers will find the introduction helpful as a guide in threading their way through the complexities of Federn's special point of view.

The easier part of the book is devoted to the psychoanalytic treatment of psychoses. Federn apparently was the first to demonstrate that psychotics did develop a transference that is utilizable for psychoanalytic therapy. He pointed out the pernicious effects of the recumbent position, the need for emphasizing the reality aspect behind the unconscious mental product, the importance of immediate clarification of suspicions, the advisability of searching for real events behind every change in the psychotic's mental status, etc. One receives the impression of Federn's extraordinary clinical knowledge and sensitivity and it is indeed regrettable that, perhaps more attached to his theoretical constructions, he did not share with us specific accounts of his clinical psychoanalytic work with psychotics.

Federn insists on keeping the transference positive at all times. It is hard to believe that this is meant exactly, since such a procedure would deprive the patient of the benefit of verbalizing his antagonism; rather that it is essential to dissolve analytically the negative transference as soon as possible.

Some of the therapeutic work consists in an education of the patient to reality, as when Federn questions the patient minutely about the reality basis for false ideas.

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