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October 1961

Psychoanalysis and the Family Neurosis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(4):419-420. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710160099013

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The author of Beyond Laughter, a psychoanalyst, has written another in an increasing number of books in which psychoanalysts have gone "beyond psychoanalysis" proper. He takes us where the practice and theory of psychoanalysis, a system of knowledge developed in the course of work with individuals has taken him: "to understand... the individual... and his interaction with other people... and outline a way to a more effective treatment of the neurotic marriage and the neurotic family" (p. 9). This is obviously a worthwhile though ambitious project and one fraught with many pitfalls.

First of all he is treading on grounds which are not the exclusive domain of psychoanalysis. In recent years anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and social workers, as well as psychiatrists who are not psychoanalysts, have shown much interest in this area of investigation. Second, as a psychoanalyst he approaches this new field with a method refined in the

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