A Prophetic Analyst:
Erich Fromm's Contribution to Psychoanalysis

edited by Mauricio Cortina and Michael Maccoby

Copyright ©1996 by Jason Aronson Inc.


Papers originally presented at the Erich Fromm International Symposium held at the Washington School of Psychiatry, May 6-8, 1994.

Before Erich Fromm there was "one-person psychology." Then, through a respectful, ambitious, but uncompromising revision of Freudian theory, Fromm helped lead us to our current relational perspective that considers the complexities of a "two-person" interpersonal, contextual view of human functioning and therapeutic treatment.

Fromm's humanistic and holistic approach to psychoanalysis integrates psychological understanding with religious, economic, and sociological factors. He was one of the best known psychoanalysts during the '40s,'50s and '60s and some of his books became instant best sellers. Escape From Freedom introduced intellectuals to psychoanalysis and its relevance to understanding society, analyzing the psychology of fascism and authoritarianism. In The Art of Loving he inspired many people to consider the psychological demands and rewards of mature loving relationships based on knowledge of self and others, mutual respect, and caring attitudes. More than any other psychoanalyst, Fromm showed how the >passionate need to find meaning in life was tied to our capacity for destructiveness. While Fromm's work fits contemporary, postmodern thinking--indeed was prophetic of it--after the late 1960s he fell into neglect, dismissed as superficial by the psychoanalytic establishment that he relentlessly criticized and by the new left as a bourgeois reformer.

This book succinctly summarizes Fromm's main contributions to psychoanalysis, assessing their strengths and weaknesses and considering their utility in light of contemporary developments in psychoanalysis and related fields. It shows the vitality and relevance of Fromm's ideas for today's clinical and social problems.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction: Erich Fromm's Contributions to Psychoanalysis
Mauricio Cortina and MichaelMaccoby


Chapter 2: The Two Voices of Erich Fromm: The Prophetic and the Analytic
Michael Maccoby
Chapter 3: Beyond Freud's Instinctivism and Fromm's Existential Humanism
Mauricio Cortina
Chapter 4: The Greatness and Limitations of Fromm's Thought: On Dreams
Paul Lippmann
Chapter 5: Fromm's Humanistic Ethics and the Role of the Prophet
Marianne Homey Eckardt
Chapter 6: Erich Fromm's Contribution to a Theory of the Development of the Malevolent Personality
Carl Goldberg
Chapter 7: The Relational Perspective in Fromm and in the Stone Center's Work
Douglas LaBier


Chapter 8: Fromm's Clinical Practice: Insight or New Experience?
Marco Bacciagaluppi
Chapter 9: The Analyst as a Person: Fromm's Approach to Psychoanalytic Training and Practice
Sonia Gojman
Chapter 10: Opening of Alternatives and Modification of Character Traits in Psychoanalysis
Romano Biancoli
A Commentary
Ana Maria Barroso
Chapter 11: Countertransference Redefined: Some Clinical Contributions of Fromm
Alan Grey


Chapter 12: Freud, Fromm, and the Pathology of Normalcy
Daniel Burston and Sharna Olfman
Chapter 13: The Social Dimensions of Transference
Salvador Millán
Chapter 14: Erich Fromm's Concept of Social Character and Its Relevance for Clinical Practice
Rainer Funk
Chapter 15: Self Development and Psychotherapy in a Period of Rapid Social Change
Richard Margolies
A Commentary
Sandra Buechler


Chapter 16: Erich Fromm: A Brief Biography
Daniel Burston
Chapter 17: Erich Fromm's Courage
Paul Roazen


Reviews by Experts

"The profit from Fromm's prophesies will accrue long into the future of psychoanalysis as well as having enriched the past. While postmodern theorists struggle to define a model that incorporates two elements, Fromm has already conceived a three-dimensional psychic universe. Unique among psychoanalysts, Fromm's profound grasp of the human condition was integrated with a broad understanding of sociocultural forces as they impact on individual personality and on relationships. Not limited to the psychobiology of infantile drives their derivatives, Fromm grounds his view of human development in the conquest of physical need and emotional security; in the quest for identity and satisfaction; in questions of work and love; and in the realms of religion, politics, ethics, and aesthetics; as well as psychology, sociology anthropology, and history. In the twenty-first century, psychoanalysis will be challenged to keep pace with the complexities Fromm envisioned. Long neglected but never irrelevant, his ideas are as useful to practitioners as they are to scholars and to related disciplines. Each chapter in this impressive volume illustrates a different aspect of his genius and simultaneously illuminates new facets of contemporary clinical experience."
-Marylou Lionells

"With this volume and the resent resurgence of publications by and about Erich Fromm, we can hear a voice of impassioned reason once again. Fromm spoke of the centrality of the relationship in the analytic process and of the importance of the complete human context for the meaning of personal development and psychotherapeutic change. Maccoby and Cortina have gathered an impressive and articulate array of articles and scholars who help us to understand Fromm anew, and who give him his rightful place as a forerunner of modern relational theory. Their own chapter integrates this vision and introduces the novice to this important body of work. A Prophetic Analyst is recommended for scholars and questioning clinicians alike. It will help us all to understand the centrality of the relationship in human development and the importance of the social context for everything that we experience."
-David E. Scharff

"Despite his international prominence as a social theorist and cultural critic, Erich Fromm's enormous influence on the development of psychoanalytic theory and practice over the past several decades has operated behind the scenes. Cortina and Maccoby have collected a wide array of contributions on Fromm the clinician, Fromm the prophet, Fromm the theorist, Fromm the provocateur, and Fromm the teacher that convey the manifold ways in which From instructed, goaded, and inspired so many of the major currents in psychoanalytic thinking in recent decades."
-Stephen A. Mitchell

"A Prophetic Analyst fills a long-standing need for a definitive work on Erich Fromm. This book offers a comprehensive exposition and a just evaluation of Fromm as a psychoanalytic theorist, sociologist, philosopher, and practicing clinician."
-Jules R. Bemporad

TMG Home | Articles | Books | Associates | Contact Info

Richard Margolies, Vice President |

This web site is maintained by Maria.
Copyright © 2023 The Maccoby Group. All rights reserved.