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Grotjahn, M. (1954). Psychoanalysis and Personality. A Dynamic Theory of Normal Personality: By Joseph Nuttin. New York: Sheed and Ward, Inc., 1953. 310 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:450.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:450

Psychoanalysis and Personality. A Dynamic Theory of Normal Personality: By Joseph Nuttin. New York: Sheed and Ward, Inc., 1953. 310 pp.

Review by:
Martin Grotjahn

Father Nuttin is Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He attempts in this book to give his Catholic students a version of psychoanalytic psychology which does not conflict with their spiritual orientation. While selecting and bending and resetting analytic terms and theories, he makes the well-disposed analytic reader feel awkward, as if eating a familiar food with chopsticks for the first time.

Joseph Nuttin describes psychoanalysis as a philosophy, as a system of psychology, and as a therapeutic method. In the second part of the book, a dynamic theory of personality is developed, aiming at a spiritual integration of analysis with traditional concepts of Christian asceticism. The text, the case material, the denial of the libido theory and of repression, the assumption of special, metaphysical, 'constructive' tendencies, make the word 'psychoanalysis' appear out of place. To an analyst, it seems that a more straightforward, courageous and independent way could have been found to integrate psychoanalytic science with humanistic Christian ideals.

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