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Seppäl, O. (1999). Autogen Trening (Autogenic Training): Randolf Alnaes. Oslo: HøSyskole Forlaget, 1999. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):308-310.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):308-310

Autogen Trening (Autogenic Training): Randolf Alnaes. Oslo: HøSyskole Forlaget, 1999

Review by:
Olli Seppäl

Randolf Alnaes, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Oslo, is an internationally renowned researcher of psychiatry and psychotherapy, and has long served as a training psychoanalyst of the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Institute. Professor Alnaes received his early training in Tübingen and his psychoanalytic training in Stockholm. He is a member of the Swedish Psychoanalytical Society. In his works, Alnaes has studied the nature of psychotherapy as a holistic psychophysiological process and has also emphasized ideas from the early periods of psychoanalysis, where the ego was distinctly a body ego.

Autogen trening is an extensively modernized 2nd edition of a work originally published in 1964. Psychoanalysis emerged from Freud's and Breuer's research in hypnosis. Freud discovered the unconscious and transference and developed the psychoanalytic method. Psychoanalysis became the science of understanding. Another offshoot of hypnosis was autohypnosis, the best known form of which is the so-called Schultze method. Autogenic training was also influenced by oriental methods of autosuggestion. For historical reasons, a schism developed between psychoanalysis and these suggestive and supportive methods. We have largely tended to see them as mutually exclusive opposites, and have not really found constructive ways to use them together.

As psychoanalysis has developed from a classical method emphasizing abstinence, and analysis of the transference towards serving wider categories of patients, there has been an increasing need to find constructive ways of integrating various psychotherapeutic methods and theories into its framework. Alnaes's book is an excellent contribution to this process.


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