Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- American Psychiatric Glossary Edited by Jane Edgerton and Robert Campbell

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- American Psychiatric Glossary Edited by Jane Edgerton and Robert Campbell

Article excerpt

JANE EDGERTON AND ROBERT CAMPBELL, EDS.: American Psychiatric Glossary. Seventh Edition. American Psychiatric Press, Washington D.C. 1994, 182 pp., $27.00.

Charles Rycroft in an introduction to his classic A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis alluded to several pitfalls he faced while compiling his work. Some of these pitfalls are faced by all lexicographers, whatever their persuasion or area of interest. As Rycroft notes, others are unique to psychoanalysis and its cognate disciplines. Many of the words we use were derived from Greek or Latin roots and were first used in a psychiatric context by authors who wrote primarily in German. Words such as libido and cathexis have altered their meaning in translation into English. True, a glossary is not quite a dictionary; and there is a lot more to psychiatric terminology than psychoanalytic concepts and terms. Nevertheless, the editors of this psychiatric glossary face an equally formidable task. Fortunately, Robert Campbell, one of the two editors, better known for a more comprehensive psychiatric dictionary published by Oxford University Press, brings with him considerable expertise in this area.

It is not very clear as to why certain items are included and others not. For example, Sigmund Freud is in, and Anna Freud is not; Melanie Klein is in, but Fairbairn is not; Carl Rogers is in, but Szasz is not. And then there are some notable syndromes included and others excluded: Tourette's disorder and Cotard's syndrome are in, but Clerambault syndrome is not. Few, if any, contemporary biological psychiatrists are listed. There is a constant movement in both directions of words from technical terms to everyday language. …

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