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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Reference Source for Therapists, Students and the Curious
Love it, loathe it, agree with it, disagree with it, psychoanalysis has made a major contribution to our culture and the treatment of mental and psychic disorders. Charles Rycroft was a major contributor to this. Perhaps not of the order of say Freud or Melanie Klein, but still very important.

Though Rycroft describes himself as being a Freudian, this...
Published on 11 Aug. 2012 by Graham Mummery

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Critical Dictonary of Psychoanalysis
A must have companion for anyone trying to get to grips with psychoanalytical terms and concepts. Slightly limited for more advanced knowledge of the literature.
Published on 30 Jan. 2009 by Stephanie Bernard


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Reference Source for Therapists, Students and the Curious, 11 Aug. 2012
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
Love it, loathe it, agree with it, disagree with it, psychoanalysis has made a major contribution to our culture and the treatment of mental and psychic disorders. Charles Rycroft was a major contributor to this. Perhaps not of the order of say Freud or Melanie Klein, but still very important.

Though Rycroft describes himself as being a Freudian, this dictionary originally complied from his own notes, offers clear definitions of terms from Freud, Adler, Winnicott, Jung plus many more variants on psychoanalysis as well as psychiatric and behaviourist terms. In this he is largely non-partisan, though he may be critical. As he explains in his introduction this is a "critical dictionary, not a dictionary of criticisms." This means he defines what a psychoanalytic terms mean but he will also point out criticisms of this view point, though in the end he leaves readers to decide for themselves.

As Rycoft points out in the introduction this dictionary has been influential. There has since been a A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis which as he states is "partially influenced by this volume." This volume is worth looking at in its own right. It is a model for other dictionaries to follow. But it is a tribute to Rycroft that this is a wonderful reference point for navigation round psycho-dynamic schools of psychotherapy. Its definitions are beautifully lucid, written with great verve.

My one sadness (I won't say criticism) is that this volume does not include some of the terms of the Humanistic and Transpersonal schools of psychology such as Gestalt, Rogerian Client Centred Therapy and Archetypal Psychology, though I suspect this is more down to history than bias. Maybe this book could become like Roget's Thesaurus, a presiding spirit for future dictionaries of psychotherapy. That would be a wonderful tribute to the author of this dictionary as well as his own very real achievements.

But let's praise this volume for what it does do: it's a wonderful volume, essential for students of all forms of psychotherapy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very Good Book, 23 Feb. 2009
By 
Craig Nelson "The weirdo" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
This is a Brillant book for new psychoanalysis readers as this book helps a lot. An even greater part of the book is you can just read it for interesting facts which may not be related to a book you are reading now.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Critical Dictonary of Psychoanalysis, 30 Jan. 2009
This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
A must have companion for anyone trying to get to grips with psychoanalytical terms and concepts. Slightly limited for more advanced knowledge of the literature.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars saves reading loads of other books, 27 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
i found this book very helpful in all my course work,it explains most words very well and simply put they each contain references to other words so you can keep reading it for ages. Its not just a dictionary to look up words singularly book of a ongoing learning experience without the boredom
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book - highly recommended, 4 Aug. 2012
By 
Adam A. Waterhouse (Southampton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
This is an excellent and indispensable book for anyone with an interest in developing their understanding and familiarity with psychoanalysis. The dictionary is prefaced with a twenty page introduction. Charles Rycroft begins it by providing an explanation of his use of the word 'critical' in the title: "....this book is not a dictionary of criticisms of psychoanalysis but a critical dictionary of psychoanalysis.... To this end is entries consist not merely of formal dictionary definitions of technical terms used in the analytic literature, but also give some account of their origin, of their connexion with other terms and concepts used in analytic theory, and of the controversies relating to them that exists among analysts themselves."

It is this last feature of the book - its willingness to briefly discuss the controversies between analysts with respect to different concepts - that gives it a truly fascinating and thought-provoking quality.

It should be stressed that that this book is much more than a dictionary of definitions as each of the entries, some of which run to over a page, provide explanations of the terms discussed. Where the explanations refer to other psychoanalytic terms explained in the book these are printed in bold, allowing the reader to familiarise themselves with that term also. In this way it is easy to spend an enjoyable five or ten minutes developing an understanding of a series of related psychoanalytic concepts.

Rycroft's explanations of terms are clear, concise, and insightful. I have re-read some of them five or ten times in order to deepen my understanding. This book is a real treasure for anyone with an interest in psychoanalysis.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent concise perfectly written, 9 April 2009
By 
C. M. Robinson (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
Very good dicitonary
Describes key definitions expertly
references made to other psychoanalysis authors
A good intermediate book for anyone interested in this disciplin
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary, 6 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I purchased this little book recently. Came across it accidentally on the Amazon Book site when looking for another book. I find it brilliant. As someone who is just starting
a course in Psychotherapy I find it invaluable. I use it all the time when reading the books on the course to look up the terms I dont understand. I cant find words to recommend it highly enough.
One of my best buys.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book., 3 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
Brilliant reference if you want a better understanding of mental health conditions and the system. However in some areas of the book it refers to as "him" which I find a bit sexist. But that's the only bad point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book, 17 Nov. 2011
a must if you are studying psychodynamic counselling, explains lots of terms used in psychodynamic study books, in a much easier way. An indispensable book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
a must for my Psychodynamic Degree
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A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference)
A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin Reference) by Charles Rycroft (Paperback - 29 Jun. 1995)
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