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Berkowitz, D.A. (1996). The Relevance Of The Family To Psychoanalytic Theory. By Theodore Lidz, M.D. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1992. 256 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 65:402-406.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:402-406

The Relevance Of The Family To Psychoanalytic Theory. By Theodore Lidz, M.D. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1992. 256 pp.

Review by:
David A. Berkowitz

This book represents the culmination of Lidz's views on the relationship between the family and the psychoanalytic development of the self. It is a further elaboration of ideas expressed in his earlier works, which include The Family and Human Adaptation (in 1963), The Person: His Development throughout the Life Cycle (in 1968), and his pioneering 1966 study with Stephen Fleck and Alice Cornelison, Schizophrenia and the Family. In asserting that psychoanalytic theory and practice must be revised to include the influence of family transactions, structure, and milieu on the individual's development and psychopathology, Lidz raises an important issue. It is his view that the neglect of the role of the family in psychoanalysis is due to the central focus in our theory on the instinctual drives, a point to which he returns repeatedly throughout the book.

The book is divided into two parts. Lidz begins his historical review by pointing out that Freud erroneously renounced the seduction theory and concomitantly turned away from considering the role of the family in neurosogenesis. He illustrates the inattention to intrafamilial influences in Freud's cases of Dora, Little Hans, Schreber, and the Wolf Man. He then argues that the subsequent predominant interest in the intrapsychic rather than in the environmental has led to a neglect of the influence of the family in psychoanalytic theory and has contributed to analysts' disinterest in actual events and in the nature of family transactions in their patients' lives.

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