April 1965

Positive Disintegration.

Author Affiliations

By Kazimierz Dabrowski, MD. Price, $4.50. Pp 132. Little, Brown & Co., 34 Beacon St, Boston, Mass 02106, 1964.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(4):428. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720340100016

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One is always curious to see how a psychiatrist from a Soviet satellite country approaches the complexities of human behavior and feelings. In this case, Professor Dabrowski (Director of the Institute of Child Psychiatry and Mental Hygiene in Warsaw, Poland) offers a translated version of his theory of "Positive Disintegration." This arresting, but unfortunate title centrally states that psychopathological symptoms have a prime positive role in personality growth. His works of many years are based on this concept, and throughout the book, it is repeated time and again, almost as a drill. There are many hints as to its clinical usefulness, but with only two inadequate case histories. Attempts to carry the idea further in defining its details are amorphous and cloudy. There is obvious effort to avoid "Western" terminology such as, the unconscious, ego, transference, identity, and conflict; we find instead, "awareness of different levels in one's

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