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(1915). Psychanalysis. Its Theories and Practical Application. By A. A. Brill, Ph.B., M.D. W. B. Saunders Company. Philadelphia and London. $3.00.. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(1):118-120.

(1915). Psychoanalytic Review, 2(1):118-120

Book Review

Psychanalysis. Its Theories and Practical Application. By A. A. Brill, Ph.B., M.D. W. B. Saunders Company. Philadelphia and London. $3.00.

That this book has a distinct value and meets a real need is proved by the fact that a second edition is necessary after only one year of circulation. It is work that must bring psychoanalysis,—or psychanalysis as the author chooses to write it—to the attention of those unfamiliar with its principles and must be of great assistance to those who have already begun to acquaint themselves with the theories of Freud. Dr. Brill speaks from a knowledge gained by extensive study and tested and enlarged through his own psychoanalytic practice. Throughout the book attention is called to the fundamental characteristic that distinguishes psychoanalysis from all other psychologies and psychotherapies, namely the emphasis upon individual psychology and the employment of it in investigation and treatment. It is in the so-called “border line” psychoneuroses and psychoses that psychoanalysis has thus far particularly proved its usefulness.

The first chapter, “The Psychoneuroses” states briefly the history of the beginning of psychoanalysis developed from Freud's experience in the treatment of hysteria, from which he evolved his theories of infantile sexuality, repression, the struggle between the repressed material and the psychic censor and the resulting substitution and conversion, obsession and compulsion, doubts and phobias.

The value of the dream in the investigation into the unconscious, as a means of entrance into the infantile material of repression and fixation, together with the mechanism of the dream, form the content of the next chapter condensed from Freud's master work, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” This chapter like the others illustrates by cited cases the practical working value of the theories. At the end of the chapter a brief, pointed summary of the psychological character of the dream reveals it as a wish-fulfilment arising out of the unconscious repressed material, and shows its consequent therapeutic value as a means of investigating the psychotic symptom, which also has its orgin there.


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