Writing in a lively straightforward tone and offering numerous examples, Polansky demonstrates that verbal communication plays a major role in mental health and is essential to preventing and curing emotional disorders. He shows why the inability to achieve effective speech reflects neurosis, interferes with self-healing potentials in the personality, and hampers patients in their efforts to make use of any of the talking therapies. He also makes clear how verbal expression leads to the growth of intimacy between people on a mature organized level and guards the individual against the existential anxiety of being completely alone in a potentially meaningless universe.
Synthesizing basic theory that underlies skilled interviewing, the book serves as an introduction to ego psychology. It offers an appraisal of the role of verbal communication, especially in casework, individual therapy, and counseling, as well as in most group treatments situations. The author covers such topics as the resiliency of the ego, the logic of defenses, coping mechanisms, and the theory of object relations. He provides numerous illustrations of specific security and distance maneuvers found in everyday practice. He also describes techniques for dealing with these maneuvers by patients in face-to-face situations.
This book is as vital to the field as when it first appeared in 1971. Polansky summarizes major concepts of modern ego psychology and relates them to what is known today about the process of verbal communication. It will be especially useful for those who seek to understand and treat the human personality through speech. Ego Psychology and Communication is designed for courses in social work, clinical psychology, educational counseling, guidance, and psychiatric nursing. Practitioners in social work, psychology, and psychiatry will find it to be a valuable addition to their personal reference libraries.