Both students and experienced mental health professionals will appreciate Dr. Chessick’s skillful exploration and use of Freud’s genius in discovering, practicing, and describing the art and craft of intensive psychotherapy. The “erudition and sensitivity”* that characterize Dr. Chessick’s earlier books are also evident in this new work.
Calling on his training in both psychiatry and philosophy, the author explores Freud’s thought on every aspect of human living, as reflected in his voluminous writings, and examines the philosophical premises and intellectual groping underlying Freud’s swings between humanistic and scientific images of man.
Clinical problems that Freud investigated by his new method are examined, as well as his many suggestions and precepts for the technique and practice of intensive psychotherapy. Unresolved current issues — such as delineating the curative factors in psychotherapy, the treatment of narcissistic and borderline disorders, the nature of aggression and the heated debate over Freud’s metapsychology and his notions about transcendence, art, and religion—receive careful attention. Finally, Freud’s metaphysical and epistemological premises, as they evolved and changed and helped form the foundation of his theoretical concepts, are scrutinized in order to better understand his position in philosophy and science.
Of added value for the scholar, as well as for the clinician and student, is the twenty-nine page bibliography.(648 pp.)
–Paul Ornstein, M.D.