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Professor Gesell suggests the new term 'neonate' for the child during the highly important first month of his sunlit life, and the present reviewer welcomes it and prophesies its general acceptance.
"Whatever the ultimate outcome of the current behaviouristic movement in the field of psychology, it is already clear that this movement will take psychology farther away from its philosophical fixation and bring it into closer relations with physiology and biology....It would appear that the scientific foundations of developmental diagnosis will be medical as well as psychological in the restricted sense of the term. Indeed it is impossible to imagine a fundamental programme in this complicated field without recognizing the partial dependence of developmental diagnosis upon medical science and medical training." From these quotations we see how essentially sound is the author's basal judgment.
The clinical norms set forth in the book are based on a scientific study of no less than five hundred children at ten ascending levels of development and have been tested in actual application at the Yale Psycho-Clinic. The material has been organized in a practical and concrete form which will make it serviceable to students of pediatrics as well as practitioners.
Five of the chapters are interesting discussions of topics of broad interest: developmental correspondence in twins; precocity and superiority; retardation and inferiority; the comparative aspect of development; and research applications of the comparative method. The chapter on normative summaries will interest parents especially, for these norms present the most nearly adequate standards by which they can estimate the intellectual status of their young children. Freud and his work are not mentioned in the book.
Altogether, this pioneer treatise is of unusual importance as well as of unusual human interest to many groups of people especially concerned with children—the most precious of all things in this wonderful world.
GEORGE VAN NESS DEARBORN.
Geständniszwang und Strafbedürfnis. Probleme der Psychoanalyse und der Krimino
logie. VON DR THEODOR REIK.
This book consists of a volume of ten lectures delivered by Dr Reik to students of Psycho-analysis in Vienna.
He presumes a certain knowledge of Psycho-analysis on the part of his audience, and points out that his aim is a new presentation of familiar psycho-analytical facts and theories, rather than the annunciation of fresh discoveries.
The chief importance of the work, it appears to us, rests in the fact that interest is focussed on the dynamic importance of the unconscious Ego formations in determining health or illness, and the manner in which these formations betray their existence in the everyday life of the individual.
To appreciate the value and significance of the contents of these lectures it is necessary to be acquainted with the recent work of Professor Freud recorded in his book Das Ich und das Es. The publication of this volume marks the approach of important theoretical and practical advances in Psycho-analysis.
For our present purpose it is sufficient to remind the reader that Freud has enlarged his previous conception of the unconscious mind, as a result of exhaustive analytical research and objective observations, and has put forward fresh empirical formulations concerning the differentiation of the Ego, as a result of the influence of the environment through the parents on the one hand, and the internal urge of primitive instinct on the other. The Super-Ego thus formed by identification with the parents is the successor of the Oedipus Complex, and at the same time the foundation of conscience, the important new factor revealed is that the relationship to the Oedipus Complex has exposed the Super-Ego to the repressing forces of the developing personality, and in the adult mind these infantile components of the
Super-Ego are unconscious, as are the primitive libidinal impulses to which they react. Freud has shown that the unconscious Super-Ego with its condemnation of unconscious libidinal impulses, produces unconscious guilt reactions which he groups under the term ‘a need for punishment.' The task of the Ego is to satisfy this need just as it must strive to satisfy other instinctual demands, conscious and unconscious.
Reik has developed Freud's concept of an unconscious need for punishment, linking it on to the conception of a universal tendency to compulsive confession.
In his first lecture he describes his aim as an attempt to demonstrate the origin, aim, effects, and forms of expression of a significant unconscious tendency to compulsive confession, which has not yet been sufficiently appreciated, and to which, certain cultural conditions being presumed, he is inclined to ascribe universal significance. We find from the examples he gives, that he applies the term confession to all unconscious instinct manifestations which bear the mark of repression, that is, which show the influence of the Super-Ego. For example, acts unconsciously determined, slips of the tongue, and slips in writing.
The author derives the tendency to compulsive confession from the 'urge' to expression characteristic of all instinct impulses, modified by environmental resistance at a time when the Ego is still weak and undeveloped. He maintains that this modification of expression is accompanied by a change of aim due to the taking up of other instinct expressions. In other words the unconscious manifestations of instinct impulses, with which Psycho-analysts are familiar, reveal the fact that the repressing forces play a part in their determination and constitution, as well as those of the repressed primitive instinct (p. 22). For this reason Reik proposes to call the unconscious manifestation a compulsive confession.
If we turn from the unconscious manifestations of repressed instinct in the healthy individual to the case of the neurotic fresh light is thrown on the subject.
Reik points out that the neurotic symptom demonstrates its origin from two opposing unconscious forces, especially in the case of the compulsion neurotic. In these cases the dynamic power of the unconscious Super-Ego appears to us to be quantitatively specific, and to require differentiation from that of the healthy individual. For this reason we would suggest that the term compulsive confession applies more happily to neurotic manifestations of unconscious guilt than to the universal tendency to express unconscious and repressed impulses. The difference may be only a quantitative one, but this quantitative factor depends on the successful resolution or fixation of the Oedipus Complex and the dynamic power of the earliest unconscious layers of the Super-Ego, which largely determine mental health or illness.
If we compare the slip of the tongue of the gentleman in the Boarding House quoted by Reik (p. 13): “I missed you still in bed” instead of "I supposed you still in bed" with compulsive confession in word and action met with in some cases of compulsion neurosis, we feel inclined to emphasise the difference by speaking of the first as a manifestation of a pre-conscious erotic wish suppressed by the conscious Super-Ego, and the second as a compulsive confession of unconscious incest guilt. The classification of both as confessions is justified in so far that in each case the wish has been condemned, but a study of the wishes from the point of view of the libido reveals differences which cannot be ignored. Both contain avowals of love, the first on a genital plane, the second on a pre-genital. The slip implies a fantasy of erotic relationship on a genital level, the confession of a compulsion neurotic the desire for a masochistic love relationship in the form of punishment of which the confession is a part. The libidinal aim is scarcely modified in the first case, but profoundly altered in the second, and the gratification obtained in the two cases can hardly be compared.
The connotation of the word confession brings with it the deified father figure, in perspective certainly in the picture of the obsessional and other forms of neurosis, but upsetting the relation of values in a more general representation.
The question of the universal application of the term is of small moment however, compared with the importance of the tendency in the neurotic and criminal and its relation to the need for punishment.
In lectures 2, 3 and 4 the lecturer enters into many aspects of the subject,
describing the unconscious need for punishment as one of the most important determinant forces in the whole of human life. The relation between compulsive confession and the need for punishment is not simple. In lecture 4 he describes the compulsion to confess as the tendency to express repressed impulses, modified by the operation of the need for punishment; further he says that where the need for punishment is too great a confession is not attained, but instead a substitute for the original deed from which the need for punishment took its rise.
Freud first drew attention to the part an overwhelming unconscious need for punishment plays in the production of a negative therapeutic reaction, and the practical difficulties involved. In this lecture Reik deals with the technical difficulties and the necessity of bringing the unconscious guilt into consciousness with the original situations to which it is attached. He suggests that the recognition of the biological and psychological necessity of suffering, as Freud calls it, is perhaps the beginning of the overcoming of suffering. Students of Psycho-analysis will learn much from the study of this lecture of the nature and difficulty in working through this unconscious need in analytical treatment.
The statement that compulsive confession is derived from the need for punishment is supported by ample evidence, and the displacement of importance from punishment to confession is parallel with other familiar psychological displacements of interest; indeed it appears to us that it is only when this displacement has taken place that the compulsive character of the confession is convincing, and the particular unconscious manifestation can be adequately termed a confession.
In lecture 2 (p. 33) the author makes an interesting comparison between the emotional stages of libidinal discharge and the emotional relationship of confession to the need for punishment. He describes the anxiety attached to confession as comparable to the forepleasure of sexual relations, and the emotional tension associated with punishment with the end pleasure of the sexual act. As in the case of sexual pleasure fore-anxiety can become end-anxiety, in other words confession becomes an end in itself and not only a forerunner of punishment. Reik proposes 'fore-anxiety' and 'end-anxiety' as appropriate terms to be adopted to describe the emotional reaction invoked by the Super-Ego, which is relieved with partial gratification of instinct emotion by confession and punishment. He in no way intends to exclude a masochistic gratification of the unconscious libidinal component which is pleasurable in the unconscious, by suggesting a partial gratification of the Ego component through the overcoming of fore-anxiety, and he further suggests that the partial gratification which the confession brings to the repressed instinct emotion as well as to the need for punishment, lies in the partial perception of the fore-pleasure, and the overcoming of the fore-anxiety respectively (p. 35).
The interest lies in the effort to differentiate between the gratifications of opposing instincts and instinct derivatives and their emotional qualities. Only further work and observation will prove the value and permanency of the suggestions.
Of more obvious importance is the attention the author draws to the value of confession as a gratification through the transformation of 'thing' presentation into 'word' presentation. He reminds us (p. 35) that Freud has suggested a relation between the quality of consciousness and the formation of word presentation. In analytical treatment the author postulates a lifting of repression through the transference, allowing a partial gratification of the phantasied deed by its repetition in words, and at the same time the voicing of the condemnation of the Super-Ego. He compares the therapeutic effect with the investment of word presentation in the schizophrenic which has been described by Freud as an attempt at a healing process.
In the last six lectures Reik traces out the significance of the mental tendencies described in the case of the individual to the most important social institutions.
The 5th and 6th lectures are occupied with the relation of the 'compulsion to confess' to Criminology and Criminal Law, the 7th deals with its importance in Religion, Myth, Art and Language. The 8th is on the origin of Conscience, and the 9th and 10th on the importance of compulsive confession to Pedagogics and Society.
These chapters introduce a new point of view and merit the attention of any who
are interested in these social problems. It is impossible in a short review to deal with the numerous questions which are raised and the avenues of thought which are opened up.
The possibilities of progress in criminology through the application of the knowledge of these tendencies to confession and the need for punishment, is only one of the many referred to.
The interesting evidence presented by criminals of an unconscious tendency to self-betrayal is of everyday occurrence, but its relation to self punishment has not been considered hitherto.
Reik points out the importance which Society ascribes to the confession of a criminal, and the means used in old days to procure it, and he suggests the possibility that the unconscious perception of Society of the individual's need for punishment might have helped to determine the drastic measures of torture used to obtain a confession, the confession thus obtained satisfying Society's collective need for punishment and that of the individual. He considers at length the psychological origin of Penal Law and the part played by punishment, discussing the various theories of punishment, retributive and protective, and points out the importance of Freud's observation that punishment is the aim and not the result of crime, owing to the need of assuaging unconscious guilt.
The fact that our individual unconscious psychological institutions are reproduced in Penal methods is in keeping with many other facts concerning the basis of Social institutions which Freud has revealed. The possibility of overcoming the unconscious need for punishment in the individual seems to open a road for the furtherance of Penal Reforms. Reik sees possibilities through further displacement of importance from punishment to confession, as the mildest form of satisfying the need.
The value of the contribution lies in the fresh insight and method of approach to problems which at present it is impossible to solve.
An interesting lecture on the compulsion to confess in religion gives the author many opportunities of illustrating the fundamental importance of the tendency to mankind. He points out the resemblance and difference between religious confession (Berichte) and Psycho-analysis, pointing out the gratification obtained by confession and its relation to punishment. The tendency in the Church to replace the importance of penance by that of confession is in the author's view an illustration of a like tendency in the mind of the individual.
Myth, Poetry and Art obviously yield illustrations of the same unconscious instinct impulses as has already been shown by many psycho-analytical writers. In the present instance stress is laid on the fact that these manifestations reveal the condemnation of the Super-Ego and the gratification of the need for punishment in the form of confession, rather than on the desire of the primitive instinct.
The further lectures inevitably involve considerable repetition and do not require much comment. The question of punishment in education will naturally raise similar questions as in the case of the treatment of the Criminal, with allied although perhaps fewer practical difficulties attached to them.
In his final lecture the author touches on the subject of the psychic mastery of the sense of guilt through work. This is suggested by Freud when he describes the sense of guilt as dread of the community. Psycho-analysts are familiar with the inhibitions in work occurring as displacements of disturbances in sexual life in those individuals who are compelled to cling to their unconscious guilt reactions. The author takes us back to the fall of man and the punishment allotted, which was the work of cultivating the ground-a substitute for the forbidden deed. He does not however expand the idea nor lay stress on the direct satisfaction of the need for punishment which must be involved. It is not clear what psychic mastery implies, nor its relation to displacement and sublimation.
In conclusion the lecturer speaks of Psycho-analysis as a confession of Society, comparing it to a scientific religion. The analogies and comparisons are illuminating and serve to throw light on questions of wide social interest.
No reference is made to the role of the analyst in this association of religion
and Psycho-analysis, but it is obvious he would play the part of priest and God in his identification with the Super-Ego, the deified father of the patient. This is a well-known identification to all psycho-analysts, but obviously represents only one of the many transference situations which take place during the treatment and should not necessarily overshadow the rest.
In studying these lectures it is well to keep in mind that the object of the lecturer was to lay special stress on one unconscious mental tendency, and the particular form of presentation involved in a course of lectures necessitates certain repetitions and the exclusion of other points of view which might be included in a book written in another form. These drawbacks however do not detract from the essential value of the contributions and the originality of thought and outlook. It is a volume which should be read by all psycho-analysts and is of value to others interested in social and educational problems.
SYLVIA M. PAYNE.
Studies in Psychiatry, vol. II. By MEMBERS OF THE NEW YORK PSYCHIATRICAL SOCIETY. Washington, D.C. and New York, 1925. Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company, Monograph Series, No. 41. Pp. 233. Price $3.00.
L. PIERCE CLARK: Psychopathic Children. What New York City is doing for them. Realising the need for knowledge of the subsoil of habit, manners and conduct in the neurotic make-up team work is proposed between educators, penologists and psychopathologists. "Of first importance in making a clinic of this sort is getting a good method of case examination and proper record filing, in order that the accumulated material may in time be thoroughly studied." In addition there will be the National Society for the Study of Normal and Abnormal Children in which "educators, physicians and psychologists will be on equal footing in advancing this great work," which will be furthered by the Society mainly by holding public meetings. All this organisation sounds very well but the thought rises in the reader's mind whether it is profitable to mix research and organisation in this way, whether in this conjunction they do not cripple one another. The view is an heretical one to be sure but is supported by an objective test. This paper was written twelve years ago, the plans outlined were being then put into operation, and what has resulted? It is too soon to ask. Certainly we may answer that the grading and individual treatment of defective, psychopathic and neurotic children have greatly improved, but is it not an illusion to suppose that this method of research leads to increased knowledge of the child's emotional development and 'difficulties'? Let us take Case 2 as an example: here we find a boy of fourteen so poor at book work that he cannot spell ‘girl' or 'desk' properly or do the three-times multiplication table, but was specially quick at imitating physical manipulations of various kinds, e.g. handicrafts, engineering, etc. He lived in dread of his father and teachers. Since scarlet fever at three he has been poor at any work requiring visual memory. His backwardness at school engendered shyness and a feeling of inadequacy, he is becoming morose and solitary in habits. The author asks What are we to do for the boy with poor visual memory, for the problem passes beyond the welfare of this boy to that of a large group? First, we must know more definitely what the audist and visualist types mean as regards mental development and useful work in the world...; yes, to be sure, but the problem is more complicated, we must know more of our cases. Why, for instance, did this boy at home read his lessons over and over again so that his father, coming home at night, should not hear his mistakes and scold him-and then make mistakes "in spite of all efforts." Why could he not carry anything in his mind? Why is he so interested and competent in electricity? So good at making one bicycle out of two wrecked machines? Above all, why is he so morose and silent? It does not suffice to say he had poor visual memory, and one hopes this answer was not acceptable at the public meetings held by the N.S.S.N.A.C. We need more knowledge of his home life than to be told the family history and personal history was negative "aside from