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Strean, H.S. (1968-1969). Emotional Problems of the Student. Graham Blaine, Jr., Charles C. Mcarthur et al. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966. 276 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 55(4):707.

(1968-1969). Psychoanalytic Review, 55(4):707

Emotional Problems of the Student. Graham Blaine, Jr., Charles C. Mcarthur et al. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966. 276 pp.

Review by:
Herbert S. Strean

As ego psychology and the social sciences are uniting and synthesizing with established psychoanalytic theory and method, increasing attention is being devoted to specific patient groups with their own peculiar life tasks. Emotional Problems of the Student reflects and is a welcome addition to this healthy trend. The authors, twelve psychiatrists at Harvard College, viewing the college as a social system with psychiatric casualties an inevitable dysfunctional consequence of the system, combine their talents to write a lucid text on the adaptive problems of college students and the necessity for their differential treatment.

With an excellent introduction by Erik Erikson, the book contains comprehensive chapters on the role of the college therapist, faculty counseling and referral, distinguishing patterns of student neuroses, and problems connected with studying. Perennial and frequent, albeit transitory, conflicts of the young person are also considered: homosexuality, depression, suicidal fantasies, and student apathy. Although the frame of reference of the writers is the undergraduate unit of Harvard College, emotional disturbances among college women, the special problems of graduate students and those of medical students are also carefully considered.

As understanding of the ego and its maturational timetable becomes more sharpened, as intervention in the patient's “expectable environment” (Hartmann) becomes more acceptable, we will witness less of the application of “across-the-board” treatment methods primarily designed for the neurotic patient.

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