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Harry Guntrip (1901-1975) was a psychologist known for his major contributions to object relations theory. He was a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a psychotherapist and lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry, Leeds University, and also a Methodist minister. He was described by John D. Sutherland as "one of the psychoanalytic immortals".


In Guntrip’s writing, the work of Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn, and D. W. Winnicott are synthesized. But he also advanced his own ideas in which he criticized Freud for being too oriented toward biology and therefore dehumanizing. He argued that the regressed ego exerts a powerful effect on life and understood the schizoid sense of emptiness as reflecting the withdrawal of energy from the real world into a world of internal object relations.

He worked extensively with schizoid patients who were detached, withdrawn, and unable to form real human relations. He came to regard the self as the fundamental psychological concept, psychoanalysis as the study of its growth, and psychoanalytic therapy as a means of providing a personal relationship in which the alienated, withdrawn self is given an opportunity for healthy growth and development, and finally putting it in touch with other persons and objects.

Published works

  • Schizoid Phenomena, Object-Relations, and the Self (1992). Karnac Books.ISBN 1855750325
  • Psychoanalytic Theory, Therapy, and the Self: A Basic Guide to the Human Personality in Freud, Erikson, Klein, Sullivan, Fairbairn, Hartmann, Jacobson, and Winnicott (1985). Karnac Books.ISBN 094643915X
  • Personality Structure and Human Interaction (1995). Karnac Books.ISBN: 1855751186
  • Psychology for Ministers and Social Workers (1949)
  • You and Your Nerves
  • Mental Pain and the Cure of Souls
  • Middle Age (with L. J. Tizard)

Further reading

Hazell, J (1986) H.J.S.Guntrip: A Psychoanalytical Biography.Free Association Books .ISBN: 1853433330

See also

External links

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