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The interpersonal theory of psychiatry

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for serious students of psychiatry or psychology 2 April 2003
By Jacques Richard, Ph.D. - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sullivan's ideas, at the time of their writing, were revolutionary and not accepted by mainstream psychiatry. This book represents some of Sullivan’s best lectures, put together by his students after his death, and gives the student of psychiatry or psychology a penetrating conceptualization of mental health, and problems of living (to use Sullivan’s words). The interpersonal theory of psychiatry is one of anxiety in human relationships, and all of the twists, turns, and maneuvers taken by our personality (self-system) in order to avoid or minimize such anxiety. A must read.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Stack Sullivan? 4 July 2011
By Rev. John D. White - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the world of Freud and Jung, of Horney and Adler--American Harry Stack Sullivan is almost an anomaly, -- often overlooked except by specialists, here we have something worth reading and thinking about on his work. Years ahead of his peers, Sullivan shares his learnings and we are the better for having the benefit of his experience. Read the other psychoanalysts by all means, but do not overlook Sullivan or his work at the same time.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars professional 1 May 2009
By Stuart H. Galesburg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent recommended reading from the the author, a psychiatrist, in explaining studies of how genetics, and mostly an individual's developing years determine his or her personality, and or mental impairments, leading to certain personality traits. Stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Oct. 2015
By Juan Tubert-Oklander - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A true classic!
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars too tough for the utterly clueless 14 Dec. 2011
By as baby Babylons do SKITS - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I appreciate The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry (1953) by Harry Stack Sullivan, M.D., who died in 1949, a basis for creating a literary life as a subjective realm in which a person may picture thoughts that Sullivan would consider within topics like:

Patterns of Inadequate or Inappropriate Interpersonal Relations

Chapter 19, Matters Schizoid and Schizophrenic.

I would like to quote an opinion I expressed concerning security defenses on March 24, 1996:

The problem seems to arise
from situations which produce
"very intense anxiety" associated
with the suspicion that someone
has "gone off the deep end."
An elaborated view might include
"awe, dread, loathing, and horror." (p. 315).
Sullivan even mentions the "Grand Canyon."
In order to avoid such feelings,
Sullivan believes that obsessional
substitution may be a good indication
of "what goes on in the self-esteem
in order to keep something utterly
excluded from awareness, so that
there is no possibility of its
eruption into awareness." (p. 319).
The section called
Evidences of Dissociation
covers pages 316-322,
followed by
Possibility of Reintegration
of Dissociated Systems,
which covers "deliberate
fugues" in which one
"plunges into some situation,
with a sort of tightening up of everything,
often keeping his eye on something irrelevant-
that is, preoccupying himself with things
really tangential to what he is after. . . .
And by a sort of attenuating process,
by which the whole thing adds itself
to conscious experience slowly, one
survives it and is better off for it." (p. 323).

Books can be analyzed like a cosmic pogo stick up in a society of spectacle that is only paying attention to the satisfaction of its own entertainment values. Electronic communication allows hits to be communicated as music, news, or commercial messages which jar anyone who does not get the same cosmic pogo stick up experience that everyone else is having, frequently in solitary enjoyment of pleasure addictions instead of a interpersonal relationships, and the institutions which assume that religion, law, philosophy, or developmental history have a tradition that can beat Freudian aspects of riding a cosmic pogo stick down the stairs to the basement in a nuclear submarine should pay more attention to crimes against humor.
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