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Rudnytsky, P.L. (2014). A Psychotherapy for the People: Toward a Progressive Psychoanalysis, by Lewis Aron and Karen Starr, New York, NY: Routledge, 2013., Relational Perspectives Book Series, Vol. 55, xxi + 442 pp. $190.00 (hc), $59.95 (pb). Psychoanal. Psychol., 31(4):588-594.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 31(4):588-594

Book Reviews

A Psychotherapy for the People: Toward a Progressive Psychoanalysis, by Lewis Aron and Karen Starr, New York, NY: Routledge, 2013., Relational Perspectives Book Series, Vol. 55, xxi + 442 pp. $190.00 (hc), $59.95 (pb)

Review by:
Peter L. Rudnytsky, Ph.D., LCSW

Although Lewis Aron and Karen Starr affirm in their introduction that they write as and for clinicians, and do not seek to “make an intellectual contribution suitable only for academic purposes” because “the future of our profession hangs in the balance” (p. 7) of the history they trace and the binaries they dissect, A Psychotherapy for the People is assuredly not for the fainthearted. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a more scholarly, erudite, and intellectually challenging book on the history and theory of psychoanalysis, which, for all its warts and blemishes, delivers on its ambitious promises and deserves to reach the widest possible audience, even among those in the proverbial trenches who might normally shy away from a tome in which the reference list alone runs to 28 pages.

Also in the introduction Aron and Starr identify themselves as affiliated with the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, “the largest psychoanalytic training program in the country” (p. 10), of which Aron is the director and where Starr, though already the author of a book on Jewish mysticism and psychoanalysis in the Relational Perspectives series, is currently a candidate. Such a collaboration is itself an expression of the ethos at “NYU Postdoc,” which differs from most other analytic training programs both in dispensing with the “training analyst” designation—deeming all graduate analysts in good standing who have been in practice for 5 years qualified to undertake the personal analyses of their candidates—and in being “housed within the graduate school of a major university” (p.

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