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Hurst, D.M. (1994). The Work of Hans Loewald: An Introduction and Commentary. Edited by Gerald I. Fogel, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991. 209 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:107-112.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:107-112

The Work of Hans Loewald: An Introduction and Commentary. Edited by Gerald I. Fogel, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991. 209 pp.

Review by:
David M. Hurst

How does psychoanalysis work? One hundred years ago, Breuer and Freud wrote their "Preliminary Communication," announcing that the recovery of repressed traumatic memories relieves the symptoms of hysteria. The techniques they used a century ago evolved into the treatment we all practice today, but how does it work?

In December 1986, Gerald Fogel chaired a panel for The Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine on Hans Loewald's classic paper, "The Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis." The other panelists were Arnold Cooper, Lawrence Friedman, and Roy Schafer. This book resulted from the panel presentations and the discussion that followed.

Loewald asked Fogel to include two other papers which he thought would broaden the view of his thinking: "Superego and Time," first published in 1962, and "Psychoanalysis as an Art, and the Fantasy Character of the Psychoanalytic Situation," which first appeared in 1975.

Fogel manages to integrate these two articles into the book via an initial chapter, "Loewald's Integrated and Integrative Approach," and a final chapter, "Transcending the Limits of Revisionism and Classicism," which make this book the general introduction to Loewald's work that Fogel's title promises. The reader thereby gains perspective on the centerpiece of the book, "The Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis," by seeing it in relation to some of Loewald's other contributions, but the therapeutic action paper is so important and rich that I would have preferred that the whole book had been devoted to it. Fogel too remarks that "one can find almost everything in Loewald in [the therapeutic action paper]" (p. 159).

It is remarkable how Loewald manages to give an intimate view of his attitude toward the patient, the analyst, and their interaction in the analytic situation without presenting case material. Not only are case examples superfluous in Loewald's writing; when he gives clinical examples, they are distracting.

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