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Strean, H.S. (1970). Patterns In Human Interaction: An Introduction To Clinical Sociology. Henry L. Lennard and Arnold Bernstein. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, 1969. xiii+24 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 57(2):318-319.
    

(1970). Psychoanalytic Review, 57(2):318-319

Patterns In Human Interaction: An Introduction To Clinical Sociology. Henry L. Lennard and Arnold Bernstein. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, 1969. xiii+24 pp.

Review by:
Herbert S. Strean

In 1960, Henry Lennard, now a professor of medical sociology at the University of California, and Arnold Bernstein, a psychoanalyst and a professor of psychology at Queens College in New York, published an illuminating text, The Anatomy of Psychotherapy. In that volume, the authors made effective use of constructs from role theory in order to enlarge understanding of the psychotherapeutic process. Focusing on role expectations and communication patterns between therapist and patient, their research demonstrated how each actor induced the other to enact specific roles. When these roles were not complementary, strain occurred which was then resolved in order for treatment to continue. These original concepts of role as applied to psychotherapy have become quite familiar through their use by many clinicians and behavioral scientists in various fields of application.

Now, one decade later, the authors have published a text which explicates in detail how social forces are transmitted to the individual and transformed by him. They illustrate how a person's momentary social context influences his behavior, and from this kind of example demonstrate how diagnosis and treatment must be correspondingly influenced. In an especially fascinating discussion of Freud's famous case, Lennard and Bernstein point out how Schreber was utterly delusional in one social context but completely symptom free in another.

Intermixing psychoanalytic, role, and social systems theory, together with rich clinical and empirical data, the authors penetrate the family context and arrive at novel insights.

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