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Heilbrunn, G. (1954). Drives, Affects, Behavior: Edited by Rudolph M. Loewenstein, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 399 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:582-582.
(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:582-582
Drives, Affects, Behavior: Edited by Rudolph M. Loewenstein, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 399 pp.
Review by: Gert Heilbrunn
These twenty-one essays by twenty-three authors discuss 'the theory and practice of psychoanalysis and its application'. Although the contents have been arranged without obvious plan, all are concerned with the theoretical constructions of psychoanalysis and their applications. Depth and originality of thought appear on nearly every page.
The first contribution, by Hartmann, Kris, and Loewenstein, establishes the spirit of the book. It condemns the widespread 'suspicion of theory in psychoanalysis' and the mere 'collection of clinical data in therapy', a trend that has become 'an unhealthy form of compartmentalization within psychoanalysis'. A dangerous oversimplification of theory, 'theories by reduction' to use Hartmann's expression, owes its existence at best to 'energetic but tempestuous attempts', but more often to the superficiality and sterility of ambitious but mediocre workers in many disciplines.
Nearly all the other essays display broad knowledge and scope. New ideas and valuable reformulations are built on solid tradition. Although the book does not present us with a systematized outline of psychoanalytic theory, all major theories receive adequate treatment. The first part deals with the theory of instinctual drives and its relation to affects, particularly anxiety, and to aggression and sublimation. The clinical contributions that follow correlate theory with analytic investigations of early development, physical illness, depression, dreaminterpretation, the Oedipus complex, homosexuality, masochism, and other problems.
This is no book for the novice. It challenges the advanced student and the expert. It is profound and diverse. Its publication is well-timed, for it reminds us that true progress in analysis depends on the total personality of the analyst and not simply on a three to five year training program with the standard minimal requirements.
The book is dedicated to Marie Bonaparte. It is a tribute to its patron and to those who created it.
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