Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Personal Relations Therapy: The Collected Papers of H. J. S. Guntrip Edited by Jeremy Hazell

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- Personal Relations Therapy: The Collected Papers of H. J. S. Guntrip Edited by Jeremy Hazell

Article excerpt

JEREMY HAZELL, ED.: Personal Relations Therapy: The Collected Papers of H.J.S. Guntrip. Jason Aronson, Northvale, New Jersey, 1994, 40 pp., $40.00.

Personal Relations Therapy: The Collected Papers of H.J.S. Guntrip is a classic that should be read by all serious students of object relations theory. Its editor, Jeremy Hazell, makes Guntrip come to life, enabling the reader to see the man in his work, personally struggling in his own psychotherapy with Fairbairn and Winnicott to be a whole "ego" or self and, intellectually, to move beyond where his mentors had ventured while remaining appreciative of their contributions to his ideas.

Guntrip makes a tremendous contribution to the current trend toward translating object relations principles into psychotherapeutic technique and as Hazell points out, thus provides "an effective bridge between object relations theory and the self psychology of Heinz Kohut" (p. 21). He discusses the importance of the therapist providing patients with agape or nonerotic parental love, (e.g., showing them genuine interest, respecting them as persons in their own right, regarding them as valuable human beings with their own unique nature) in order to help patients achieve a sense of individuation, maturity, and self-fulfillment. Guntrip states that "if it is bad human relationships that make people emotionally ill, it can only be a good human relationship that makes them well again. It is the psychotherapist's responsibility to discover what kind of good parental relationship each patient needs in order to get well" (p. 401).

In addition to emphasizing the importance of the relationship in psychotherapy, Guntrip also discusses the schizoid process. Many of these ideas, however, are elaborations of his previous work.

As with most original thinkers or "revolutionary scientists" (Popper, 1979) there are some problems in Guntrip's conceptualizations, many of which have been mentioned by Greenburg and Mitchell (1983). Some theoretical issues that require clarification include: a view of the schizoid process as "the" basic human dynamic rather than the dynamics of schizoid individuals, and a confusing usage of the terms ego (i. …

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