Understanding Psychotherapy: The Science Behind the Art

Michael Franz Basch, Author Basic Books $25 (329p) ISBN 978-0-465-08863-8
In attempting to put psychoanalysis on a scientific basis, Basch makes a direct leap from orthodox Freudianism to information science, with hardly a nod to neo-Freudians, humanistic psychologists or others who have updated the master's theories. For Freud's ``instinct gratification,'' this University of Chicago psychiatry professor substitutes ``striving for order'' and ``competence''; instead of ego and id, he speaks of the decision-making process of a self-system interpreted in terms of cybernetics, cognitive psychology and systems theory. The result is a bland framework that may be of value to clinicians but will dismay the general reader. That is unfortunate, because Basch's insistence that the vast majority of patients are not neuroticbut instead, suffer from lack of self-esteem or arrested developmentis worth heeding. His self-serving narrative and tedious case histories, however, make this treatise one to skim. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-465-08860-7
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