Harry Stack Sullivan (1892-1949) has been described as 'the most original figure in American psychiatry'. Challenging Freud's psychosexual theory, Sullivan founded the interpersonal theory of psychiatry, which emphasized the role of interpersonal relations, society and culture as the primary determinants of personality development and psychopathology.
This concise and coherent account of Sullivan's work and life invites the modern audience to rediscover the provocative, groundbreaking ideas embodied in Sullivan's interpersonal theory and psychotherapy.
'This book was a delight to read.' - Oxford Psychotherapy Society Bulletin
This series of introductory, critical texts looks at the work and thought of key contributors to the development of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Each book includes examples of how the theories examined affect clinical practice, biographical material and a complete bibliography of the contributor's work.
The field of psychodynamic psychotherapy is today more fertile but also more diverse than ever before. Competing schools have been set up, rival theories and clinical ideas circulate. These different and sometimes competing strains are held together by a canon of fundamental concepts, guiding assumptions and principles of practice.
This canon has a history, and the way we now understand and use the ideas that frame our thinking and practice is palpably marked by how they came down to us, by the temperament and experiences of their authors, the particular puzzles they wanted to solve and the contexts in which they worked. These are the makers of modern psychotherapy. Yet despite their influence, the work and life some of these eminent figures is not well known. Others are more familiar, but their particular contribution is open to reassessment.
In studying these figures and their work, this series will articulate those ideas and ways of thinking that practitioners and thinkers within the psychodynamic tradition continue to find persuasive.