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A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and NeurosciencePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychoanalysis as Biological SciencePsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis in a New LightPsychoanalysis in FocusPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy As PraxisPutnam CampQuestions for FreudRe-Inventing the SymptomReading Seminar XXReinventing the SoulRelational Theory and the Practice of PsychotherapyRelationalityRepressed SpacesRevolt, She SaidSecrets of the SoulSerious ShoppingSex on the CouchSexuationSigmund FreudSoul Murder RevisitedSpectral EvidenceSpirit, Mind, and BrainStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherSubjectivity and OthernessSubstance Abuse As SymptomSurrealist Painters and PoetsTaboo SubjectsTalk is Not EnoughThe Art of the SubjectThe Brain and the Inner WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek

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The Mystery of PersonalityReview - The Mystery of Personality
A History of Psychodynamic Theories
by Eugene Taylor
Springer, 2009
Review by Rudy Oldeschulte
Oct 26th 2010 (Volume 14, Issue 43)

History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable "truth" about past events and their meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past—that is, "revisionism"—is what makes history vital and meaningful. President's column, Perspectives, September 2003

As a volume keen to detail the historical shifts in psychodynamic theory - and the place of psychodynamic theory in personality development - this author succeeds brilliantly.  He outlines with extraordinary thoroughness the shifts over the past century or more, and attempts to revise our understanding of these shifts -- why and how they occurred. The historical groupings of individuals involved in the endeavor of psychological theorizing are each given their due in the dynamic framework: the early history from Europe, Freud and the Freudians, the Neo-Freudians, Jung and Adler -- the latter two seen as quite independent and distinct - as well as the Gestaltists and Humanistic theorists. The history of each individual and how their work has featured in this endeavor, is methodically depicted.  Historically interested parties will find much in this volume to enjoy and to learn. The author highlights, however, the challenges that psychologists, particularly experimentalists, continue to struggle with in comprehending the scientific view of personality.  

Having stated the purpose of this volume as such, it will be of interest to the reader that attention is given by this author to the nature of how any theorist must approach his or her work - to be inclusive of which theory, or more precisely, which theoretical school or tradition in which the theorist was educated, trained, or experienced.  This will, of course, also need to include the historical context of the individual's life, e.g., was the individual schooled in Victorian-era Britain or post-WWII America.    

The difficulty of this volume lies in the author's attempt to engage the large questions of the scientific and experimentalist perspectives in psychology. There is obvious concern over what he refers to as a "Freud-centric spin" on understanding the history and present day accounting of personality and psychodynamic theory.  To be more specific, while acknowledging the idea of 'theory-embeddedness' for all clinicians and theoreticians,  the author turns to his viewpoint of how psychology may reach toward a transformed psychology, one that is more in line with the ideas of Jung. A phenomenological perspective is suggested for the 21st century, with the sensibilities of neuroscience, cultural sensitivity, and being rather more humanistic in nature -- essentially a 'person-centered science' that is more in the author's view, scientifically sound. The author contends that this movement will lead psychology forward, and that it will be a scientific psychology that, in its "phenomenologically oriented" approach, will be foundational to further understanding of personality theory.  This argument however, is built on premises rooted in a rather confusing, even muddled line of reasoning about scientific methodology and belief systems, states of consciousness, and intersubjectivity. These claims are offered within the context of this "person-centered science" -- a science that recognizes the uniqueness of the individual and allows psychology to address the mystery of personality.

The contribution of and intention for this volume of work is met in so far as outlining the historical facts, detailing the shifts and nuances of the work over the past century and a half -- considerable as these shifts and nuances have been -- about the struggle in psychology to understand our personality structure.  Whether or not one agrees with the author's perspective on the future of the psychological study and research into our personality, and the theories of personality, will be left to the reader.   

 

© 2010 Rudy Oldeschulte

Rudy Oldeschulte trained in psychoanalysis with Anna Freud and her colleagues in London, and received his law degree at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. He now teaches psychology, law, ethics, and cultural studies.   roldeschulte@gmail.com


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