Testing the Theories and Therapy
It would be impossible to tabulate fully the debt modern psychology
owes to Sigmund Freud. Freud's theories of the unconscious, the
role of parents in personality development, psychological defense
mechanisms, psychosomatic symptoms, body image, and sexual behavior
patterns, to name just a few, continue to exert a powerful
influence on most contemporary schools of psychological thought.
So, too, elements of the original psychoanalytic method have become
a fixture in the modern psychotherapeutic armamentarium. But, as
the authors of this book point out, Freud's approach was more
intuitive than scientific, and his work less a rigorous system than
a collection of "mini-theories," some of which have stood the test
of time and scientific scrutiny, while others have not. For obvious
reasons, then, it is important that Freud's theories and methods be
periodically reappraised and revised in light of the latest
empirical findings, and that they be closely evaluated for their
relevance to the contemporary psychological scene.
Freud Scientifically Reappraised represents Seymour Fisher and
Roger Greenberg's on-going efforts to do precisely that. Like their
landmark work of the 1970s, The Scientific Credibility of Freud's
Theories and Therapy, it is based on the authors' critical review
of all studies conducted over the past decade that either directly
or indirectly tested the validity of Freud's theories of
psychopathology, personality types, Oedipal dynamics, and the
nature of the dream process, or the efficacy of psychoanalytic
therapy. While their research focused mainly on sources in social,
clinical, cognitive, developmental, physiological, and other
psycho-logical schools of thought, it also extended to the recent
literature in anthropology, sociology, psychiatry, psychosomatic
medicine, and other outside disciplines.
OF RELATED INTEREST...
PSYCHIATRY AND CRIMINAL CULPABILITY—Ralph Slovenko
In this book Ralph Slovenko, a professor of law and psychiatry,
explores the cases, origins, links, and requirements of legal
insanity tests. Dr. Slovenko addresses a wide range of important
topical issues such as the distinction between the defenses of not
guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill, and
diminished capacity. He identifies the types of mental illness that
fall under criminal responsibility and explores the role of the
mental health professional as an expert character witness. This
thought-provoking book will help mental health and legal
professionals deal with the controversial question of what makes a
person criminally responsible or criminally insane. 1994
(0-471-05425-9) 448 pp.
A PERILOUS CALLING: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice
Edited by Michael B. Sussman
Through a series of compelling first-person narratives, this
fascinating book takes a revealing look into the private and
professional lives of psychotherapists. This candid approach
reveals not only the perils of the job, but the effects that
dealing with the emotional and mental sufferings of others may have
on the psychotherapist. This book will help professionals learn how
to take better care of themselves in their professional and private
lives and help their patients, friends, and loved ones gain some
insight into the psychotherapists' own concerns and conflicts.
PSEUDOSCIENCE IN BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY: Blaming the
Body—Colin A. Ross and Alvin Pam
Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry is a groundbreaking book
that explores cutting-edge issues like the historical origins of
biological psychiatry, genetics and mental illness, the current
state of psychiatric training, psychopharmacology and drug therapy,
and more. Instead of limiting the origins of mental illnesses to
chemical or physical influences, this book takes into account the
possibility of illnesses stemming from outside influences as well.
This book alerts the mental health community to the ideological
blind spots and conceptual errors in the basic logic and
methodology of biological psychiatry and suggests alternative
approaches to understanding and treating mental illness. 1994
(0-471-00776-5) 304 pp.
As will be apparent to all those versed in Freudian theory,
throughout Freud Scientifically Reappraised, the authors
scrupulously avoid the common tendency to oversimplify the theories
in order to make them easier to test empirically, but instead
present them in their full complexity as formulated by Freud.
Readers from all backgrounds will appreciate the effort made to
relate Freud's concepts and methods to personality and cognitive
literature in order to provide a framework for integrating them
into contemporary thought and practice.
Freud Scientifically Reappraised is must reading for
psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and all mental health
workers who acknowledge the enduring influence of and debt owed to
the "Father of Psychoanalysis."
Upon its publication, The Scientific Credibility of Freud's
Theories and Therapy was named one of the 10 best books in
psychology by Library Journal and one of the "Best Behavioral
Science Books" by Psychology Today.