Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To copy parts of an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To copy a phrase, paragraph, or large section of an article, highlight the text with the mouse and press Ctrl + C. Then to paste it, go to your text editor and press Ctrl + V.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

McLaughlin, J.T. (1959). American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1957: Changing Concepts of Therapy in a Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic. E. Pumpian-Mindlin. Pp. 1095-1099.. Psychoanal Q., 28:289-290.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1957: Changing Concepts of Therapy in a Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic. E. Pumpian-Mindlin. Pp. 1095-1099.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:289-290

American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1957: Changing Concepts of Therapy in a Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic. E. Pumpian-Mindlin. Pp. 1095-1099.

James T. McLaughlin

The author entertainingly describes the evolutionary changes in psychotherapeutic concepts and procedures in a Veterans Administration Clinic in Los Angeles over the past ten years, and in so doing manages most graphically to describe the stages in the growth of a therapist. He scans various 'insufficient' conceptual positions and goals assumed in sequence by the changing therapist: 'Hostility Is Not Enough' refers to a phase in which it was hoped that abreaction and enactment of rage by the patient would relieve his symptoms; this hope foundered with awareness that there remains the patient's need to utilize effectively this newly released hostility. 'Love and Affection Are Not Enough' depicts a phase of overwhelming permissiveness by a therapist bent on making up for all his patient's unmet needs; this behavior only hinders the patient's expression

- 289 -

of negative feeling and his emergence from the sticky mutual dependence that ensues. In the next phase, 'Interpretation Is Not Enough', a high saturation of interpretations utilizing psychoanalytic concepts (many of the therapists were at this time undergoing psychoanalysis) was essayed. There was a tendency to regard all patients as 'reducible to certain common denominators' of defense and ego strength. Yet since each patient so regarded tended to continue to behave as his unique self, this conceptual scheme gave way to the present phase, 'Integration Is Not Enough', which consists of awareness that the ego is more than the sum of its defenses, and that it has an autonomy of its own and coördinating, integrative, and synthetic capacities that command the therapist's respect. The author prefers the term 'ego potential' to 'ego strength', subsuming under the former the present and potential capacities of a person to integrate his various drive-energies into a synthetic whole unique for him alone. In this conceptual advance the author still finds inadequacies, and points to the need to define more precisely the difference between continuous and discontinuous ego functions; the need to study the vicissitudes of object relations; the value in distinguishing between the 'ego' as an intrapsychic structure and the 'self' as the totality of the individual in interaction with his environment. To the author it is the self and not the ego that interacts with environment; this self contains personality functions that have emancipated themselves from their infantile origins and that can continue to make adequate relation to reality even when other functions have sharply regressed. Understanding this action between the patient's self and his objective reality represents the 'Stage of Ecology', wherein the awareness of all the foregoing phases as psychic reality is integrated with awareness of objective reality.

- 290 -

Article Citation

McLaughlin, J.T. (1959). American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 28:289-290

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.