Cover image for Basic Freud : psychoanalytic thought for twenty first century
Basic Freud : psychoanalytic thought for twenty first century
Kahn, Michael, 1924-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiii, 226 pages ; 22 cm
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BF173 .K32 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BF173 .K32 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BF173 .K32 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In Basic Freud, noted psychologist Michael Kahn shows that, even in the age of psychopharmaceuticals and cognitive therapy, Freud's insights into the unconscious remain unsurpassed tools for understanding our behaviors, motivations, and emotions. In a style accessible to any lay reader or beginning student in psychology, Kahn presents key ideas such as the Oedipus complex, the repetition compulsion, guilt, anxiety, and defense mechanisms, along with recent research that has supported or expanded Freud's findings. He also presents case studies from his own work as a psychotherapist to show how Freudian thought has been instrumental in helping patients discover who they are and escape from destructive patterns. Readers aware of Freud's ideas and those discovering them for the first time will benefit from Kahn's fresh, informed, and unpretentious approach.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Clinical psychologist Kahn (emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) believes that psychoanalytic theory is sound despite some flaws. Here he aims to introduce Freud to college-level students, therapists-to-be, and general readers, using a conversational style and brief case examples from his practice. Kahn covers all the usual suspects: the unconscious, psychosexual development, the Oedipus complex, the repetition compulsion, anxiety, defense mechanisms, guilt, dreams, grief, and transference. He also introduces the post-Freudian Heinz Kohut and, in doing so, shows himself to be an empathic, humane therapist. Some of the cases seem too pat, and Kahn's defense of the Oedipus complex includes the dubious Freudian claim that those who don't agree with it are too threatened to admit the truth. Still, this is a good book for academic and public libraries that complements Pamela Thurschwell's Sigmund Freud (LJ 11/15/00), which is for literary or general audiences, and Elio Frattaroli's trailblazing Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain (LJ 8/01). E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Kahn (emer., Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, and director of a counseling center at the California Institute of Integrative Studies) conveys deep respect for Freud's contributions even as he presents transformations of them for the 21st century. He illustrates how contemporary notions of unconscious motivation make self-defeating conduct readily understandable. On nearly every page the author supplies effective examples drawn from clinical practice, supervision of graduate students, and his own life. Presentations generally are compelling and always easily readable. As one would expect, the book covers developmental stages, defenses, and the process of psychotherapy. In this brief primer Kahn makes no attempt to show how other theories might account for the same material. Throughout, notions like drive and transference are understood in terms of interpersonal relations. Post-Freudian psychodynamic authors such as Gill, Kohut, and Stolorow are represented. Extremely useful for undergraduate courses in human development and abnormal psychology as well as for graduate students and practitioners across the liberal arts and helping professions. C. T. Fischer Duquesne University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Introductionp. 1
2 The Unconsciousp. 15
3 Psychosexual Developmentp. 35
4 The Oedipus Complexp. 55
5 The Repetition Compulsionp. 93
6 Anxietyp. 105
7 The Defense Mechanismsp. 121
8 Guiltp. 137
9 Dreamsp. 155
10 Grief and Mourningp. 171
11 Transferencep. 181
12 Conclusionp. 201
Notesp. 207
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 219