- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; 2nd Revised edition (July 7, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0876685467
- ISBN-13: 978-0876685464
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,565,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hysterical Personality Style and Histrionic Personality Disorder 2nd Revised Edition
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The basic theme of this book is the way that familys and child development can produce life-long problems with relationships (neurosis) and aggression (personality disorder). Although it acknowledges the extreme difficulty of proving this, it lays out a scholarly, thorough, and compelling case. It touches on a series of intertwined developmental issues, which mass market books would have dealt with separately. This prevents mass market readers from the seeing how these problems are related. This includes issues of promiscuity, what other books would call "low self esteem," substance abuse, gender confusion, repeated destructive relationships, sadism, compulsive sexual behavior, asexual behavior, feminine role-playing in women, fake hyper-masculine behavior in men, and the way that all these defense are mobilized to sabotage relationships and counseling. Although sex plays a role in many of these problems, there is nothing salacious about this book. The tone is not dry, but sometimes amusingly old-fashioned.
There is also a thorough examination of role of adults that act out their repressed hostilities through their children. And the explanation of how adults encourage to children to act out the adults' repressed sexual desires is downright eerie, but seems right on target in an era where so many adults seem obsessed with pushing inappropriate clothes, movies, books on very small children. It also describes cases where small children show extremely disturbing flirtatious and sexual behavior, urged on by their parents (who have no idea).
This book is a series of essays. The quality of each chapter is uniformly excellent. The writers have a Freudian perspective, but the book never bogs down in jargon. Its level of difficulty is appropriate for the interested laymen, although it would be clearly beyond the level of a Psych 101 textbook. Although somewhat technical, this is meat & potatoes psychology you can really get your teeth into. The writing is uniformly good, and repeated readings provide fresh and powerful insights into self-destructive behavior we see every day.