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Julio Moizeszowicz: Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology. Neuochemical, Neuropsychiatric and Psychological. (1982). Reviewed by Julio Moizeszowicz


(Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology. Neurochemical, Neuropsychiatric and Psychological Aspects)

Buenos Aires: Paidós; 1982. (288 pages)

Reviewed by Julio Moizeszowicz

CONTENT: This book is divided into 8 chapters, preceded by three forewords, one by Omar J Ipar, one by Ricardo Avenburg and one by the author. All through the book, the author emphasizes that psychoanalytic thinking allows us to understand mental pathology that exceeds the psychological itself and necessitates the use of biological treatments and psychopharmacology. He integrates phenomenological descriptive psychiatry with dynamic or psychoanalytic psychiatry, but warns about the uniqueness of each treated patient.

In the first chapter, “Introduction to psychopharmacological treatment”, he points out that in addition to “specific” pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetic factors, such as bioavailability, “nonspecific factors” in a broad sense, including expectations of the physician who administers the medication, play a role in treatment response.
Chapter two is dedicated to antipsychotics, chapter three to tranquilizers, chapter four to anxiolytics, five to hypnotics, six to antidepressants, seven to lithium and eight to stimulants. Thus, all major groups of psychoactive drugs are reviewed in a separate chapter with emphasis on their specific actions, therapeutic indications and side effects.

AUTHOR´S COMMENT: This review is based on the first edition of the book published in 1982, that is available only in Spanish. By bringing together information from the neurosciences and psychodynamic psychiatry (psychoanalysis), it encourages interdisciplinary thinking. It was written with the hope that it will contribute to ending the
fruitless struggle between "biological" and "psychodynamic" schools in psychiatry. In 1938, Freud, in his Compendium of Psychoanalysis, anticipated our time when it will become possible to “directly influence by individual chemicals the amounts of energy and its distribution in the mental apparatus".

The treatment of “conflicts between psychic structures” requires psychotherapeutic treatment. Yet, treatment with drugs is indicated: (a) to reduce the level of excitement when it prevents thinking and reflection (b) in case of excessive pain and regression that interferes with psychotherapy; and (c) to prevent loss of reality testing (psychosis).


Julio Moizeszowicz
February 26, 2015