It would be impossible to tabulate fully the debt modern psychology owes to Sigmund Freud. Freud's theories of the unconscious, the role of parents in personality development, psychological defense mechanisms, psychosomatic symptoms, body image, and sexual behavior patterns, to name just a few, continue to exert a powerful influence on most contemporary schools of psychological thought. So, too, elements of the original psychoanalytic method have become a fixture in the modern psychotherapeutic armamentarium. But, as the authors of this book point out, Freud's approach was more intuitive than scientific, and his work less a rigorous system than a collection of "mini-theories," some of which have stood the test of time and scientific scrutiny, while others have not. For obvious reasons, then, it is important that Freud's theories and methods be periodically reappraised and revised in light of the latest empirical findings, and that they be closely evaluated for their relevance to the contemporary psychological scene.
Freud Scientifically Reappraised represents Seymour Fisher and Roger Greenberg's on-going efforts to do precisely that. Like their landmark work of the 1970s, The Scientific Credibility of Freud's Theories and Therapy, it is based on the authors' critical review of all studies conducted over the past decade that either directly or indirectly tested the validity of Freud's theories of psychopathology, personality types, Oedipal dynamics, and the nature of the dream process, or the efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy. While their research focused mainly on sources in social, clinical, cognitive, developmental, physiological, and other psycho-logical schools of thought, it also extended to the recent literature in anthropology, sociology, psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and other outside disciplines.
SEYMOUR FISHER, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the StateUniversity of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York.Dr. Fisher received his doctorate in clinical psychology from theUniversity of Chicago. His other books include Development andStructure of the Body Image, Sexual Images of the Self, and ThePsychology of Adaptation to Absurdity.
ROGER P. GREENBERG, PhD, is Professor and Head of the Division ofClinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the StateUniversity of New York. He also has an active private practice. Dr.Greenberg received his doctorate in clinical psychology fromSyracuse University. His other books include The ScientificCredibility of Freud's Theories and Therapy (with Seymour Fisher)and The Limits of Biological Treatments for Psychological Distress:Comparisons with Psychotherapy and Placebo.