The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory
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The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory

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This book notes the rise and fall of psychoanalysis within the intellectual sciences, and attributes the decline to the fragmentation of its basic theory. Following an analysis of the course of development of its theory, including the roles of human conflict combined with divisive ideas, the author indicates a total, composite cumulative theory that could restore the inspirational quality previously enjoyed by the discipline.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 17.8mm | 340.2g
  • Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0765705125
  • 9780765705129

Review quote

A prolific writer on psychoanalysis, Rangell has been president of both the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. This volume, although an easy read for a broad audience, is a psychiatric insider's effort to reconcile differences among theoretical allegiances via the author's 'total composite theory.' The volume describes historical and current theoretical differences among psychoanalytic perspectives, especially as they have erupted in the national and international organizations. A closing chapter reviews Rangell's contributions to total theory, which include (in the 1960s and 1970s) adding unconscious decision-making to the ego functions and (in 2004) presenting mass psychology as subject to the same explanatory system as individual psychology. Summing Up: Graduate students, researchers, and professionals. CHOICE In this latest contribution to the psychoanalytic core, Leo Rangell argues that the road to unity is a road less traveled by psychoanalysts. He sees part theories becoming whole theories and postulates an alternative total composite psychoanalytic theorythat integrates and encompasses new advances and discoveries. In particular, this volume should make valuable reading for beginning therapists who may be teased into selecting a narrow and partial vision as an alternative to a complex, integrated, and total vision of psychoanalysis... -- Joseph Reppen, PhD, editor, Psychoanalytic Psychology; assistant clinical professor, NYU Psychoanalytic Institute, NYU Medical Center Leo Rangell, one of our outstanding analytic thinkers and an active player in the psychoanalytic movement, offers us another stimulating reflection on past and recent developments on this rich and often controversial field. The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory allows its readers to take part in the main controversies, as well as to witness the current status of vitality and cross-fertilization among different analytic theories. With his ability to master difficult issues, Dr. Rangell offers a comprehensive and personal synthesis of this complex field. -- Claudio Eizirik, president, International Psychoanalytical Association All who read this book will be impressed by its extraordinary psychoanalytic scope, clarity, and insight. The development of psychoanalytic models of the mind and psychoanalytic institutions are critically reviewed. Building on his recent publication My Life in Theory, Leo Rangell brilliantly illuminates current controversies; he demonstration their derivation from the persisting past as well as new propositions. Thorny issues in psychoanalysis are explored in their complexity, without minimizing significant differences and divergence. Recognizing the value of incremental advances that have been tested and integrated over time, Dr. Rangell considers the present problems of theoretical pluralism and eclecticism. He presents cogent explanations of why a unified theory has remained elusive. The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory draws upon a lifetime of psychoanalytic experience and creative contributions to the field exemplified in this work. -- Harold P. Blum, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry and training analyst, New York University School of Medicine Executive Director, Sigmund Freud Leo Rangell, like a good North Star, here powerfully and eloquently articulates his longstanding conviction that psychoanalysis is a unitary theory of the mind, broad and deep enough to encompass innovative findings within the mainstream. He argues that new theoretical contributions do not replace theory, but rather add to, enrich, and correct the living, growing body of psychoanalytic understanding. In the process, Rangell adds context and depth to the history of psychoanalysis in the US. Most significantly, correcting much of the storm currently enveloping the history of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Rangell's clear separation of theoretical from political issues brilliantly enhances one's appreciation of the course and development of psychoanalysis as science. This book is a clarion call for reason. -- K. Lynne Moritz, M.D., president, American Psychoanalytic Association With erudition, equilibrium and deep knowledge, Rangell points out the main problem of the day, the struggle between pluralism and unified psychoanalytic theory. This text examines both positions in an effort to separate rational thinking from passion and politics. The road to unity is, for Rangell, to recognize the development of different points of view, so as to expand the theory rather than to replace a theory by another. Rangell, clearly distinguishes integration from split and proposes an objective approach. A good example of this is the way Rangell unifies Freud's both theories of anxiety. He thus proposes a united, composite theory of psychoanalysis. This is the core of his book and of his fascinating life. The reading of this book will give knowledge and pleasure to every psychoanalyst and scholar. Congratulations to the author and also to his future readers. -- R. Horacio Etchegoyen, training and supervising analyst, Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association; past president of the International Psychoanalytic As In this latest contribution to the psychoanalytic core, Leo Rangell argues that the road to unity is a road less traveled by psychoanalysts. He sees part theories becoming whole theories and postulates an alternative total composite psychoanalytic theory that integrates and encompasses new advances and discoveries. In particular, this volume should make valuable reading for beginning therapists who may be teased into selecting a narrow and partial vision as an alternative to a complex, integrated, and total vision of psychoanalysis. -- Joseph Reppen, PhD, editor, Psychoanalytic Psychology; assistant clinical professor, NYU Psychoanalytic Institute, NYU Medical Center Overall, the overview of the history of conceptual developments in the field brings with it a perspective that is in some way unique, but echoes the concerns and attitudes of many actively engaged in the work of analysis. Rangell offers a ray of hope, possibly enlightening if not a contemporary darkness, at least the sometimes confusing dialectic chiaroscuro of analytic positions. -- W. W. Meissner, S.J. M.D. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic: A Journal for the Mental Health Professions Rangell's efforts are admirable and his words merit a respectful hearing. -- Jeff Golland It is far from clear that psychoanalysis will reunify, but Rangell's efforts are admirable and his words merit a respectful hearing. Psychoanalytic Books I like The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory and heartily recommend it. It is the next best thing to a fireside chat with greatness. -- 2008, Vol LXXVI, No 2 The Psychoanalytic Quarterly This slim volume will provide a most accessible introduction to one of the major players on the psychoanalytic stage for well-nigh half its history. -- Richard G. Honig American Psychoanalytic Association One of the great virtues of this book is the careful tracing of our numerous either-or controversies...It will be of value for students as well as for those of us who do not have a coherent temporal grasp of these controversies readily available. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis
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About Leo Rangell

Leo Rangell, M.D. has contributed over 450 articles and seven books to psychoanalytic literature. He has also twice been President of both the American and the International Psychoanalytic Associations. He is currently the Honorary President of the International Psychoanalytic Association.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 The Task Chapter 2 The Tool Chapter 3 The Development Chapter 4 The Early Theory Chapter 5 Splits Chapter 6 The Golden Era Chapter 7 The Crest and the Slope. The Breakup of Theory Chapter 9 The Bad American Chapter 10 The Problem of Lay Analysis Chapter 11 The Problem of Medical Analysis Chapter 12 The Science Chapter 13 The Breakup of Technique Chapter 14 The Solution: Total Composite Psychoanalytic Theory Chapter 15 One Theory, Many Treatments Chapter 16 My Additions Chapter 17 Unity and Reconciliation Within Psychoanalysis
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