W. W. Meissner, S.J., M.D.Preface by Ernest Daniel Carrere
One hundred years after the birth of psychoanalysis, renowned scholar W. W. Meissner combines a comprehensive account of the evolution of Freud’s thought with a synthesis of contemporary psychoanalytic theory that includes the contributions of Margaret Mahler and Erik Erikson, as well as those of Heinz Hartmann, Heinz Kohut, Otto Kernberg, Ronald Fairbairn, Donald Winnicott, and Anna Freud.
Dr. Meissner details the development of psychoanalytic theory, tracing its evolution from the earliest stages of Freud’s thinking to recent developments such as ego psychology, object relations theory, and self psychology. A chapter on psychoanalytic therapy completes this unique and essential volume.
Freud and Psychoanalysis was originally published as part of a reference work addressed to psychiatrists. The University of Notre Dame Press edition of this classic study makes it available for the first time to a wider audience. The only contemporary work on Freud and the field he founded written by a psychoanalytic psychiatrist, this will appeal to everyone interested in Freud or intellectual history—therapists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, medical students, collegiate, graduate, and divinity students and professors, as well as the general public.
“From Dr. Meissner’s indefatigable pen we now have the perfect textbook on psychoanalysis! Ideal for the serious student—whether in psychiatry, psychology or social work—who wants a comprehensive, systematic and authoritative grounding in Freud and psychoanalytic thought from its origin to contemporary theory and practice. Only someone with Dr. Meissner’s years of experience and deep grasp of the complex theoretical and clinical issues could write with such a direct and readily accessible style. His superb text ought to be recommended reading for students in the field for years to come.” —Leo Goldberger, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, N.Y.U., and Editor-in-Chief, Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought
“Dr. Meissner is a well-known scholar and psychoanalyst, and in this book, he adds to his reputation. It presents a careful and thorough review of Freud’s evolving publications on psychoanalysis along with brief additions to provide an overall updating of the field. The material is clearly written and organized and so the book makes an excellent starting point for the student or serious reader who wants to attain a correct view of what Freud had to say and the directions the field has taken since Freud’s time. It has the advantage of being written by a practicing psychoanalyst who can bring his clinical experience to help him focus on what merits exposition in Freud’s voluminous writings. It is a pleasure to recommend this meritorious book.” —Richard D. Chessick, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University; Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, Center for Psychoanalytic Study in Chicago; Senior Attending Physician, Evanston Hospital
“William Meissner, S.J., M.D., has written a comprehensive and highly readable survey of the development of psychoanalytic thought. Beginning with its origins in the work of Sigmund Freud, he traces the evolution of psychoanalytic concepts as psychoanalysis matured as a clinical discipline. The clarity of Meissner’s presentation of this complex body of knowledge is made accessible to both established scholars and beginning students.” —Richard P. Fox, M.D., President, The American Psychoanalytic Association
“A major summation of a century of Freudian psychoanalytic theory and practice, a practical historical overview of the development of Freud’s thought, and an important sampling of some current psychoanalytic trends. A book that will be of value well into the twenty-first century.” —Bennett Simon, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
W. W. Meissner, S.J., M.D., is Training and Supervising Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, University Professor of Psychoanalysis at Boston College, and former Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of several books, including The Therapeutic Alliance (1996), Treatment of Patients in the Borderline Spectrum (1998), and Psychoanalysis and Religious Experience (1984).
“I am aware of the many criticisms of psychoanalytic theory by philosophers of science . . ., but as a practicing social scientist one has to make a decision whether there is or is not much in psychoanalytic theory that helps to explain a considerable part of human behavior . . . . By the philosopher’s definition, Darwin’s theory of evolution could hardly be a scientific theory; yet to have rejected it for that reason would have impeded the knowledge of the origin of species that we have gathered in the century since Darwin. So it is, I believe, with psychoanalytic theory.” —Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University, author of Medusa’s Hair
“We usually think of Freud as saying that the restrictions of conventional morality are bad for man since they prevent him from carrying out his sexual desires. In point of fact . . . Freud is saying . . . man does not learn to love in a full and mature manner insofar as his passions remain in a crude infantile state which keeps him from being fully human, fully able to give himself in love.” —Thomas Merton