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September 3, 1973

Psychodynamically Based Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Tufts University School of Medicine Boston

JAMA. 1973;225(10):1251. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220380063030

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This volume is a thoughtful exposition by an experienced and perceptive scholar, discussing the kind of psychotherapy practiced by those psychiatrists who believe that the psychoanalytic approach to neurotic disturbances is the most appropriate one. This approach views the development of a neurosis as the outcome of a process that starts in early childhood with situations where inadequate management of the child's basic needs interferes with his capacity to find realistic opportunities for closeness, love, and sexual gratification. As a consequence, the child reacts with rage towards those people from whom he desires gratification. This anger compounds the child's anxiety and sense of guilt, which cause him to push out of awareness his libidinal desires and his hostile tendencies. From this point of view, a neurosis is manifest both by inhibition of the healthy and normal expressions of desire and of anger and by the indirect, maladaptive, often symptomatic expressions