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Commentary on “Post-War Syndromes: Illustrating the Impact of the Social Psyche on Notions of Risk, Responsibility, Reason, and Remedy,” by Charles C. Engel, Jr.

Commentary on “Post-War Syndromes: Illustrating the Impact of the Social Psyche on Notions of... Sheila Hafter Charles Engel is a psychiatrist to soldiers and has first-hand knowledge of the nature of war. He offers an argument for the notion that post-war syndromes are as much social as they are medical. His presentation is driven as much by the emotional aspects of military medicine as it is by the science. The author selects from the vast literature on post-war syndromes items that strengthen his argument. Psychodynamic contributions are strikingly underrepresented, perhaps because the author is a participant in a movement he describes as the "paradigmatic shift . . . away from psychoanalysis and toward empirically defined disorders . . ." as is anything written before the year 1991. The important publications of people who attended WWII and Vietnam veterans are noted only through secondary sources, some of which seem biased. The rich contributions derived from a century of clinical observation are lost. Some readers of this Journal may wonder whether an approach that negates the past can offer anything useful for the future. They might note that it is cogent; and that it provokes reflection. Others may be challenged to translate the author's comments into the--for us--more familiar language of psychodynamic theory to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry Guilford Press

Commentary on “Post-War Syndromes: Illustrating the Impact of the Social Psyche on Notions of Risk, Responsibility, Reason, and Remedy,” by Charles C. Engel, Jr.

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Publisher
Guilford Press
Copyright
© The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
Subject
ARTICLES
ISSN
1546-0371
DOI
10.1521/jaap.32.2.335.35282
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sheila Hafter Charles Engel is a psychiatrist to soldiers and has first-hand knowledge of the nature of war. He offers an argument for the notion that post-war syndromes are as much social as they are medical. His presentation is driven as much by the emotional aspects of military medicine as it is by the science. The author selects from the vast literature on post-war syndromes items that strengthen his argument. Psychodynamic contributions are strikingly underrepresented, perhaps because the author is a participant in a movement he describes as the "paradigmatic shift . . . away from psychoanalysis and toward empirically defined disorders . . ." as is anything written before the year 1991. The important publications of people who attended WWII and Vietnam veterans are noted only through secondary sources, some of which seem biased. The rich contributions derived from a century of clinical observation are lost. Some readers of this Journal may wonder whether an approach that negates the past can offer anything useful for the future. They might note that it is cogent; and that it provokes reflection. Others may be challenged to translate the author's comments into the--for us--more familiar language of psychodynamic theory to

Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic PsychiatryGuilford Press

Published: Jun 1, 2004

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