cover image Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst

Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, $18.95 (212pp) ISBN 978-0-201-52368-3

In becoming a psychoanalyst, Masson, like Shakespeare's Malvoleo, mistook the trappings for the thing itself; that he never achieved the power he bestowed on such figures as Kurt Eissler and Anna Freud is his continuing complaint. He trained at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and, even before graduating in 1978, insinuated himself into the international psychoanalytic community. As projects director of the Freud Archives in London, he hypothesized that Freud had deliberately suppressed his seduction theory. Masson ( Against Therapy ) faults his teachers for not hewing to the principle of full disclosure (failing to note that part of the psychoanalytic equation requires hiddenness) yet rails against their discussion of analysands. Best to read is his affectionate account of his tyrannous training analysis; worst, his fawning over analysts with clout. Masson left the ``cult'' of psychoanalysis without developing his own practice; the disappointment and blame that propel this volume suggest the rage of a child at a parent's fallibility. He makes no mention of his much publicized, unsuccessful libel suit against Janet Malcolm for her 1983 New Yorker profile. (Nov.)