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May 1963

Irrational Despair

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):678-679. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290144028

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The purpose of this volume, according to the author's preface, is to critically examine and study existential psychoanalysis. One would presume from this introduction that this study, while not being comprehensive, would be sufficiently global to present a definition of his rubric, "existential psychoanalysis." It is never clear whether he is describing existentialism, existential psychology, existential psychoanalysis, mysticism or Zen Buddhism.

It seems strange that the author, who published an extremely sensitive and provocative volume called Transference and Countertransference a few years ago, should be so involved in his own distortions about existentialism to find it necessary to write two hundred pages to "prove" that existential psychoanalysis is an absurdity.

Existential psychiatry attempts to understand the uniqueness of man. Man is considered as being part of an indefinite system of order and relation in space and time. The past projects itself into the present, the pressent being determined by the

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