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January 20, 1993

The Biology of Clinical Encounters: Psychoanalysis as a Science of Mind

Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School The Cambridge (Mass) Hospital

JAMA. 1993;269(3):415-416. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500030117048

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This new book by John E. Gedo, erudite and provocative, is characteristic of his four decades of effort as a psychoanalyst. In it, he addresses two fundamentally important problems in psychoanalytic theory and practice, namely, linking or connecting the clinical observations of psychoanalytic practitioners to a scientific understanding of the mind, and appreciating the influence of preverbal phases of development on matters of concern to clinicians.

Psychoanalysis is a method to study human psychology and a method to treat human psychological disorders. It is also a discipline that abounds in controversies, especially in the realm of theory. Since Freud originated psychoanalysis nearly a century ago, he and his early followers introduced us to the now familiar ideas that much of our lives is governed by sexual and aggressive drives, which in turn are opposed or contained by psychological (ego) structures. This foundation of psychoanalysis has since been buttressed by theoretical