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The Dynamics of the Social: Selected Essays Volume 2

: Menzies-Lyth, I

Outside analytic circles one often hears it said that psychoanalysis is only concerned with the individual. The work of Menzies Lyth is a powerful answer to that claim. Continuing the themes of Containing Anxiety in Institutions, she reflects here on a variety of social situations: the dynamics of the Fire Brigade, conflicts between psychiatric hospitals and the communities that they serve and family patterns of consumption. The collection concludes with a wide-ranging survey of the psychological aftermath of disaster, which makes new links between a Kleinian model of the earliest mental states and both the immediate and longer-term needs of disaster survivors – be it an earthquake or a plane crash. The work is a reminder of the need for a sophisticated psychoanalytic perspective on the social. Its publication confirms that Isabel Menzies Lyth’s writings constitute the most important body of psychoanalytic work on the social bearings of the psyche. Read more…

Between Losing and Finding: The Life of an Analyst

: Plaut, Fred

Born in 1913, the author of this book has known Jung, Winnicott, Anna Freud, Bion and other major figures of psychoanalysis. During a long and eventful life, Fred Plaut lived, studied and practiced as a psychoanalyst in London (40 years) and Berlin (14 years). In this entertaining and illuminating autobiography, he has interwoven historical events with personal observations and experiences to provide a fascinating record of his life. Read more…

Love of Beginnings

: Pontalis, J. B.

Winner of the Prix Femina and considered a masterpiece of autobiography, this is J. B. Pontalis’ lyrical meditation on his own life. One of France’s preeminent psychoanalysts, he is co-author of the classic The Language of Psychoanalysis and he has also been a member of the editorial committee of Les Temps Modernes. Read more…

Before We Were Young: Exploration of Primordial States of Mind

: Paul, Michael I

This work represents a convergence of the Michael Ian Paul’s background with neuroscience, art, aesthetics, psychoanalytic practice, tutorial and psychoanalytic experience. Read more…

The Independent Mind in British Psychoanalysis

: Rayner, Eric

In a remarkable synthesis of historical narrative and theoretical exposition, Eric Rayner provides an authoritative and lucid account of the Independent Group of British psychoanalysts. His comprehensive discussion of the development and work of the Group includes succinct accounts of the contributions of Winnicott, Fairbairn, Balint, Khan, Jones, Bowlby, Rycroft and Bollas. The result is an encyclopaedic compendium that reads easily as text and as reference dictionary. Read more…

Freud and the Post-Freudians

: Brown, James

In this classic work, originally published in 1961, James Brown provides a compelling account of both Freud’s original ideas and of the subsequent developments that arose out of them. He explains in an engaging yet informed manner the basic concepts of psychoanalytic theory, including a survey of the contribution of Freud’s contemporaries. The ideas of the early schismatics – Carl Jung, Otto Rank, Alfred Adler, and Wilhelm Stekel – are explored, as are those of the various British schools, including the work of William Rivers, Ian Suttie, Melanie Klein and Ronald Fairbairn. Particular attention is given to the so-called neo-Freudians, with chapters on Karen Horney, Erich Fromm and Harry Stack Sullivan, amongst others. Psychoanalysis is frequently used as a catch-all term to describe the many schools of thought which take their origin from the work of Freud, however much they now diverge from it. For those seeking a more informed exposition of the basic concepts of psychoanalysis and its subsequent developments, this book provides the ideal introduction. Read more…

The Elusive Human Subject: Psychoanalytic Theory of Subject Relations

: Kennedy, Roger

There is something essentially elusive about our subjective life, which makes it difficult to capture’. From this position of uncertainty, Roger Kennedy pursues his exploration of how we can gain access to the human subject, through what we experience as individuals and also through the multiple and complex interactions between individuals in the social field. He describes how the clinical setting provides a unique opportunity for understanding the enigmas of subjectivity. Psychoanalysts have privileged access to the most intimate and complex aspects of human reality. This is an outstanding book in which Roger Kennedy has succeeded in a major re-evaluation of how we describe the Self, and what that means. Read more…

Freedom to Relate: Psychoanalytic Explorations

: Kennedy, Roger

What is the relationship between psychoanalysis and human freedom? Does psychoanalysis enhance it? Is it coercive? What are the limits? These may appear to be deceptively simple questions, but Roger Kennedy addresses them head-on. He draws on his own clinical work to shed light on conceptions of freedom and how they relate to the psychoanalytic process. Ideas from ancient, medieval, 17th-century, Enlightenment and recent philosophy, including hermeneutics, are employed in his explorations. He also addresses himself to recent pessimistic and postmodernist writings on culture and the human condition. Read more…

Illusion and Spontaneity in Psychoanalysis

: Klauber, John

When the eminent Middle Group psychoanalyst John Klauber died, he was in the course of writing his lecture as Freud Memorial Professor at University College London. His theme was that of departures from orthodoxy; the nature of the illusion that transference represents, and the relationship between fantasy and reality that the patient – and the analytic process as a whole – explores. He believed that the analyst’s own personality, theoretical persuasion and implicit concepts, blind spots, aesthetic likes and dislikes, and unresolved conflicts become crucial in the ‘space’ between analyst and patient – for it is only when the analyst can respond spontaneously and intuitively that truly therapeutic work can be done. Here are four of his lectures, complemented by essays from Nicole Berry, Patrick Casement, Roger Kennedy, Neville Symington, Helmut Thoma and Daniel Widlocher. Read more…

Masud Khan: The Myth and the Reality

: Willoughby, Roger

Few psychoanalysts from the latter half of the twentieth century have been as intellectually prolific, charismatic and ultimately scandalous as Masud Khan. Clinical practice and teaching went alongside his authoring over 60 published papers, as well as numerous reviews, and editing significant portions of Winnicott’s literary output and that of other key luminaries within the psychoanalytical canon. Masud Khan: the Myth and the Reality is the first in-depth scholarly account of his life. It charts his beginnings in the Punjab, where he submerged himself in English literature during the turbulent decades before independence and partition, through his psychoanalytic apprenticeship with Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and D W Winnicott in post-war London and a spectacular climb to international prominence, to his final years of womanising, depression, alcoholism, and cancer. As the story of Khan’s life here unfolds, so to does consideration of his key ideas and papers. His early work includes  important discussions on the self, its development aided by the protective shield and distortion through cumulative trauma and perversion. Acutely aware of the potentially dislocating impact of others, the ways in which self-experience might be actualised, particularly through dreams and quiet fallow states, became an important theme in Khan’s subsequent writings. These and other rich topics, including his discussions of literature and culture, are reviewed here with their biographical roots clarified. In Masud Khan: the Myth and the Reality, Roger Willoughby pieces together Khan’s poignant and shocking story using various sources including personal letters, other archival material and interviews with his relatives,  friends and colleagues. This work, which has taken ten years to complete, allows a glimpse of both the historical reality and the pervasive personal and institutional myths that envelop ‘Prince Dr’ Masud Khan. Some of these myths Khan wove himself, others he was incorporated into; their aliveness today testifying to the enduring collusive lure of phantasy and wish fulfilment. Beyond that of its central character, the book offers an insight into the lives of Khan’s analytic contemporaries, of the institutions they participated in and of the wider society. Read more…