email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing StoriesA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Map of the MindA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyACT With LoveActive Treatment of DepressionAffect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of SelfAlready FreeBad TherapyBecoming an Effective PsychotherapistBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBetrayed as BoysBeyond Evidence-Based PsychotherapyBeyond MadnessBeyond PostmodernismBinge No MoreBiofeedback for the BrainBipolar DisorderBody PsychotherapyBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrain-Based Therapy with AdultsBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCase Studies in DepressionCaught in the NetChild and Adolescent Treatment for Social Work PracticeChoosing an Online TherapistChronic DepressionClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCognitive Therapy for Challenging ProblemsCompassionConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCoping with BPDCouch FictionCounseling in GenderlandCounseling with Choice TheoryCouple SkillsCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating HysteriaCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDeafness In MindDecoding the Ethics CodeDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeep Brain StimulationDemystifying TherapyDepression 101Depression in ContextDialogues on DifferenceDissociative ChildrenDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTE-TherapyEarly WarningEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveErrant SelvesEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExistential PsychotherapyExpectationExploring the Self through PhotographyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFear of IntimacyFlourishingFolie a DeuxForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFrom Morality to Mental HealthFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGod & TherapyHalf Empty, Half FullHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHeinz KohutHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHigh RiskHistory of PsychotherapyHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How Clients Make Therapy WorkHow People ChangeHow Psychotherapists DevelopHow to Fail As a TherapistHow to Go to TherapyHypnosis for Inner Conflict ResolutionHypnosis for Smoking CessationI Never Promised You a Rose GardenIf Only I Had KnownIn Others' EyesIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInside the SessionInside TherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt's Not as Bad as It SeemsItís Your HourLearning ACTLearning from Our MistakesLearning Supportive PsychotherapyLetters to a Young TherapistLife CoachingLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMadness and DemocracyMaking the Big LeapMan's Search for MeaningMaybe You Should Talk to SomeoneMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMind GamesMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMoments of EngagementMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessMultifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric DisordersNarrative PracticeNietzsche and PsychotherapyOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOur Last Great IllusionOutsider ArtOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsOverexposedPathways to SpiritualityPersonality and PsychotherapyPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical Issues in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPillar of SaltPlan BPlato, Not Prozac!Polarities of ExperiencesPower GamesPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPrinciples and Practice of Sex TherapyProcess-Based CBTPromoting Healthy AttachmentsPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersPsychotherapy Is Worth ItPsychotherapy Isn't What You ThinkPsychotherapy with Adolescent Girls and Young WomenPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy without the SelfPsychotherapy, American Culture, and Social PolicyRapid Cognitive TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRebuilding Shattered LivesReclaiming Our ChildrenRecovery OptionsRelationalityRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologySecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSelf-Disclosure in Psychotherapy and RecoverySerious ShoppingSex, Therapy, and KidsSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySigns of SafetySoul Murder RevisitedStaring at the SunStraight to JesusStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyTales of UnknowingTalk is Not EnoughTalking Cures and Placebo EffectsTelling SecretsThe Behavioral Medicine Treatment PlannerThe Body in PsychotherapyThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Clinical Child Documentation SourcebookThe Clinical Documentation SourcebookThe Complete Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Couch and the TreeThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Cure of SoulsThe Death of PsychotherapyThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Ethical Treatment of DepressionThe Ethics of PsychoanalysisThe Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Healing JourneyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Heroic ClientThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mindful TherapistThe Mirror Crack'dThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New Rational TherapyThe Older Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Other Side of DesireThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Pornographer's GriefThe Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem of EvilThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy of HopeThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to PsychopharmacologyThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe Trauma of Everyday LifeThe Trouble with IllnessThe UnsayableThe Way of the JournalTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapy with ChildrenTherapy's DelusionsTheraScribe 3.0 for WindowsTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThinking for CliniciansThinking for CliniciansThoughts Without a ThinkerThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreating Attachment DisordersTreatment for Chronic DepressionTreatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety DisordersUnderstanding Child MolestersUnspeakable Truths and Happy EndingsWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom?What Works for Whom? Second EditionWhen the Body SpeaksWhispers from the EastWise TherapyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWorking MindsWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaWriting About PatientsYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga Therapy
This is the tenth volume in Masling
and Bornsteins effort to wed psychoanalytic theory with empirical research.
For those familiar with the history of psychoanalytic theory, such an
enterprise can be seen as either a welcome matrimony or an ill suited shotgun
wedding. Previous volumes have tackled various constructs dear to
psychoanalytic clinicians. This volume wades into some controversial waters.
Ever since Gloria Steinem and her feminist ilk began using Freud as a punching
bag for his patriarchal" view of women, combining gender and
psychoanalysis in a sentence, never mind a full book, has not been for the
faint of heart.
The first chapter begins as it does
for many of the previous volumes, as a declaration of intent. It is made clear
by the editors that this series is an attempt to combine the strengths of
empirical validation with the strengths of clinical observation so championed
by psychoanalytic theory. The tone of the opening chapter at least implicitly
leans in favor of empiricism, hinting that psychoanalytic thought needs a
rigorous grounding to avoid going the way of the dinosaur. This point is driven
home by a meta-analysis of past attempts at scientific exploration of
psychoanalytic gender research, showing an embarrassing absence of exploration
with subjects other than men, by researchers that are almost exclusively men.
In the past, it seems, ideas on gender in psychoanalytic theory were based on
assumption, distortion and speculation.
The second chapter, by Cain,
reviews social-cognitive theory research in respect to childrens individual
(including gender) experiences of helplessness in response to task achievement
motivation. Cain gives an extensive review of empirical studies related to the
topic, exclusively from social cognitive model. Cain then presents a
developmental model of child helplessness built mostly from social-cognitive
research and theory.
The truly remarkable third chapter
tackles the core psychoanalytic construct of primary process thinking, its role
in creativity and its relation to gender. The author Russ presents research
(using the Rorschach and a coding system for childrens play) linking ideas of
both psychoanalytic and cognitive theory. Both schools of thought view the use
of primary process thinking (here defined as affect laden cognitions) as necessary
for creativity and play. However, Russ demonstrates that incidences of affect-laden
cognition are more common for boys during creative play than for girls, with
this difference explained as boys having a higher aggressive content in their
play. Russ hypothesizes that western socialization, along with the possibility of
physiological differences and evolutionary trends, has effectively stifled the
feminine expression of primary process, particularly through limiting
aggressiveness. This has lead to the lack of adaptive use of primary process in
creativity for women.
The fourth chapter, authored by
Cramer, explores defense mechanisms, particularly the defenses of denial,
projection and identification. The author utilizes the Thematic Apperception
Test and the Defensive Mechanism Manual to support the theory that these
defenses are developmentally linked (denial is more common for children,
projection for early adolescence and identification for late adolescence), that
awareness of a defense decreases its usage, and that defenses are used
unconsciously. Furthermore, support is lent for the theory that defenses are
used when a threat is perceived, that defenses mediate negative arousal and
that the use of developmentally early defenses by adults is associated with
psychopathology. Cramer also shows empirical support for gender differences and
defensive style, with women more likely to use denial (internalizing conflict)
and men using projection (externalizing conflict). Further data suggests that reliance
on denial as a defense for both genders leads to psychopathology, while women
who utilize more masculine externalizing defenses appear healthier.
Fowler, Brunnschweiler, and Brock
contribute a chapter devoted to the exploration of bulimia in women. Using
demographics, the Rorschach and behavioral observation, the authors study women
diagnosed with the eating disorder and compare them to women without the
diagnosis in an effort to test their hypothesis that a key factor in the
disorder is a development conflict between dependency and autonomy. Their
results lend support for this hypothesis.
Brody, Muderrisoglu, and Nakash-Eisikovitz, again uses the
psychodynamic notion of ego defenses as a point of empirical exploration. The
authors propose, with supportive data, that womens sense of self is preserved
through communion (relationships with others) and that mens sense of self is
maintained through autonomy (achievement and a sense of agency). Using a bevy
of self report measures, the authors conclude that women use internalizing
defenses to preserve relationships (thereby defending the self) and men a
variety of externalizing defenses to maintain a sense of autonomy (also
defending a sense of self). These findings are converted to clinical caveats,
chief being the need for clinicians to stray from assuming a defense is
healthy or pathological without first considering the role of gender.
Sohlberg and Jansson present a
complex study of internal objects by using the tachistoscopic Subliminal Psychoanalytic
Activation procedure. Here the phrase Mommy and I are one is presented
subliminally, hypothetically inducing unconscious defense against symbiosis.
Though little in the way of direct statistical significance is uncovered, the
authors contend that the even smaller results for women suggest the complexity
of female personality development.
Tangney and Dearing finally broach
a Freudian construct still raising much ire, namely Freuds notion that women
have undeveloped superegos or immature moral development. Using data from
their research and a review of relevant literature, the authors show that
findings are actually the opposite of Freuds predications. Women show higher
propensities for shame and guilt (hypothesized as more mature moral emotions).
However, the difference is slight (men arent immune from shame and guilt
either), shame proneness reflects greater degrees of maladjustment for both
genders, and guilt proneness reflects better adjustment for both genders. Since
women as a gender have a propensity for both shame and guilt, they receive the
best and worst of both worlds.
There are a plethora of strengths
in this volume. In fact, any undertaking that attempts a synthesis of
psychoanalytic theory with constructs outside its insular halls is to be
commended. Dusting off theoretical constructs that have often been thought too
fanciful for real science and showing their utility in understanding the
human condition is commendable. In fact, one could argue that, as the social
sciences become more sophisticated in their ability to operationalize and test
ideas, the often neglected hidden treasures of psychoanalytic theory could be a
wellspring for advancing our understanding of humanity.
However, the volume does have its
weaknesses. Though most of these studies do little violence to the original
psychoanalytic ideas in their operationalizing and testing, one could argue
that others so distort the basic constructs that they cease to be
psychoanalytic. In addition, some
chapters, like that of Cains, dont seem to be really psychoanalytic at all.
Furthermore, one could argue as to how empirical" some of these chapters
actually are. Projective tests like the Rorschach and TAT, often criticized for
their subjectivities, are the standard of measure in a few of the studies
presented. Also, there was little direct connection between the studies here
and clinical treatment. Psychoanalytic theory was born in the consulting room,
and its ultimate utility lies there.
Quibbles aside, this volume and the
entire series is quite simply wonderful. To those who teach psychoanalytic
theory, wish to advance research or are simply intrigued by the vagaries of the
inner world, endeavors such as this are the rare treat. Often, psychological
research seems removed from the conflict of existence, appearing too often as
bland, laboratory white versions of individual experience. Say what you will
about psychoanalytic theory. Even at its extremes, it can provide a necessary
tonic to the often dreadfully unfanciful crawl of cognitive and clinical
researches. Heres to more books such as this.
© 2002 Dan L. Rose
Dan L. Rose, Psy.D. is a Clinical
Psychologist involved in direct clinical work and training at Columbus State University
and in private practice. His interests include psychoanalysis, neuroscience,
religion and literature.