This book is written by a Swiss professor of psychiatry at the University of Basel. It contains two sections of equal length. The first of these deals with the vicissitudes of emotional development and contains the following statement of the author's orientation. "I have avoided intentionally those concepts which reify human relationships or view them in spatial, physical or mechanistic images. One often misses the essence of human phenomena at the same moment that one intends to grasp them, by using such reductive and objectifying comparisons." The author avoids possible dehumanization by remaining close to clinical observation, interpretation, and generalization. Rarely does he venture into the realm of abstract theory, and almost never does he approach metapsychology.
His philosophical and theoretical approach to behavior has two mainstreams. The first component is a psychosocial view similar to that of Sullivan, Horney and Fromm: Behavior is determined by