Review of: Psychosynthesis: A "Project for a Scientific Psychology." By John Pardey Crawford, M.D., M.R.C.P., D.P.M. (Pp. 104. 21s.) London: Ash and Co. Ltd. 1956.
British Medical Journal, 27 July 1957, p. 204.
Psychiatrists differ greatly in their orientation. There are those who are oriented quasi-neurologically, and in therapy think mainly in terms of physical treatments; and those who think entirely in terms of psychological, or psychoanalytic, mechanisms. There is a need for a synthesis of these opposing views, and in this book Dr. Crawford tries to bridge the gap between the language of neurology and that of the various schools of psychology. It is doubtful whether such a synthesis is possible in the present stage of knowledge; the author has certainly not convincingly succeeded. He has added to the reader's natural difficulties by a laboured style, of which the quotation marks in the subtitle are typical. He seems to require justification by an authority for the use of even the simplest terms or most banal concepts. The page is overloaded with quotations and references; and behind this screen of the sayings and opinions of others the author and his synthesis are hard to find. The main interest of the book is its presentation of some of the more recent knowledge of the organic basis of psychological functions. It is not, however, sufficiently comprehensive to be recommended as a review; indeed, this would not seem to have been the author's intention.