Isabel Menzies Lyth has formulated a way of thinking about social structures as forms of defence – as ways of avoiding experiences of anxiety, guilt, doubt and uncertainty – that is as challenging as it is persuasive. She believes that the individual is engaged in a lifelong struggle against primitive anxiety. A psychoanalyst writing in the tradition of Klein and Bion, her writings span more than thirty years of research in applied psychoanalysis. This is a controversial collection, which makes available to a wider public an important part of the research tradition of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. The author extends her analytic range to cover themes of children in long-stay hospitals and day-care institutions, and the maternal role today. All the essays combine her two main professional interests: the dynamics of the individual in his or her own right and the psychodynamics of the social world. This volume includes her classic study of the dynamics of nursing.