Psycho-Analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa

Articles

Vol. 25, No. 2, 2017

Field Theory in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis: Understanding and Reacting to Unexpected Developments, by Elena Molinari
Field theory in child and adolescent psychoanalysis: Understanding and reacting to unexpected developments, by Elena Molinari London: Routledge, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-138-68673-1The room had its passions and rages and envies and sorrows comingover it and...
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When a Therapist’s Therapy Implodes: Relational Reflections on a Case of Terminal Impasse
A secret society of impasse survivors?In 1986, Elkind, a psychoanalytic therapist who had left two personal therapies after they had ended traumatically, sent a survey to the 330 registered members of the Psychotherapy Institute of Berkley, California,...
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Editorial
When writing these editorials I am fascinated by the subtle common themes that emerge in each issue, which seem to capture feelings or ideas that are emerging in the ever-changing, socially and theoretically informed currents within our community. The...
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On Being Human: The Power of Specificity in Psychotherapy in the South African Context
IntroductionIn South Africa, long-term therapies with experienced clinical psychologists are a luxury most commonly only afforded by middle class clients in the private sector (Swartz, 2013). In the public sector, long waiting lists of individuals with...
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A Bionian Formulation of Shame: The Terror of Becoming One’s Self
IntroductionShame affects encompass a range of emotional experiences including embarrassment, failure, weakness, disgrace, betrayal, abandonment, humiliation, and mortification. All are associated with painful states of self-consciousness (Goldberg,...
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Vol. 25, No. 1, 2017

Editorial
The first issue of Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa for 2017 covers areas with which psychotherapists commonly struggle, namely: working with psychosis, the ethics of psychoanalytic research methods and thinking about race and the legacies...
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Ethical Emotional Encounters: Contemplating Challenges in Psychoanalytically Informed Research
IntroductionThis paper is a reflection on the ethical concerns experienced while collecting data using a research interview method that is informed by psychoanalytic ideas and concepts, specifically the psychoanalytically informed research interview...
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Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist
Apartheid and the making of a Black psychologist, by Chabani Manganyi East Sussex: Routledge, 2016. ISBN 978-1-868-148622IntroductionProfessor Chabani Manganyi presets his memoir, Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist (2016), in Mavambe -...
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Flying Blind in the Psychotic Storm
IntroductionWorking therapeutically with psychotic patients is arguably one of the most indeterminate and confusing areas in the field of psychoanalytic psychotherapy (Bion, 1957; De Masi, 2009; Joannidis, 2013; Schwartz & Summers, 2009; Van Bark,...
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Alienation: A New Orienting Principle for Psychotherapists in South Africa
IntroductionAs psychotherapists in South Africa, we are all too familiar with the ongoing debate about the 'relevance' of our profession (Long, 2016a).Our theories and practices are contested, as are the methods we employ when selecting and training...
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Vol. 24, No. 2, 2016

Editorial
In this special issue of the Journal of Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa the focus is on psychoanalytically informed group work. In our call for papers we stated that the special issue will focus on publications which describe and critically...
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Note from the Editor
PPSA is proud to announce the introduction of two annual prizes. The first is the Rika Van den Berg Prize for the best publication written by a first time contributor to PPSA (R 3000). The second is the PPSA Student Prize (including PhD students) for...
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The Psychoanalytic Petticoats of a Rogerian Group Process
IntroductionThis article aims to apply psychoanalytic theory to reflect critically on a Rogarían group intervention in a NGO setting, namely the training of prospective LifeLine1 counsellors. I have employed an experience-near perspective to shed light...
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When Virtuous ('Deugsame') Women Flee: A Reflection on Dread and Flight in Group Therapy in One South African Setting
IntroductionThe neurotic patient does not always want treatment, and when at last his distress drives him to it he does not want it wholeheartedly. This reluctance has been recognized in the discussion of resistance and allied phenomena; but the existence...
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Expanding the Terrain of Psychoanalytic Practice to Diverse Group Settings in South Africa: Possibilities, Challenges and Future Directions
IntroductionSouth Africa (SA) faces a number of complex mental health challenges. For a range of historic, political and economic reasons the country's health care system is overburdened, under-resourced and inaccessible to many people, leading to a...
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Forced Endings in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Attachment and Loss in Retirement
Forced Endings in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Attachment and Loss in Retirement by Anne Power East Sussex: Routledge, 2016. ISBN 978-0-414-52764-4Power begins Forced Endings in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis by reflecting on her aged cat's dismount...
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Vol. 24, No. 1, 2016

Editorial
This first issue of Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa for 2016 is a rich and varied start to the year. Two of the papers focus on issues that are highly relevant to the South African context, including inter-cultural psychotherapy and domestic...
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The Reflective Function in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
IntroductionFreud (1926) considered obsessional neurosis to be 'unquestionably the most interesting and repaying subject of our analytic research' (p. 113). However, Freud offered a rider that, in part, still holds true today, and perhaps even explains...
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Trauma and Reparation: Adult Daughters' Meaning-Making of Their Relationships with Their Domestically Violent Fathers
IntroductionA recent local survey found domestic violence to be the most common form of violence experienced by South African women, with one in eight women reporting such incidents to authorities (Vetten, 2014). However, as pointed out by Vetten (2014),...
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Dream Interpretation in Theory: Drawing on the Contributions of Freud, Jung, and the Kleinians
IntroductionSince the publication of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900, there has been nothing to match his great work and surprisingly little on the specifics of dream interpretation in mainstream psychoanalytic literature, as writers have...
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Reaching across the Divide: Considering the Challenges for Intercultural Therapeutic Dyads Embedded in Previously Oppressive Social Contexts 1
IntroductionThe new South Africa is well into its third decade but without question the country still carries within it deep psychological wounds from its racist past. This paper considers some of the ways this malignant legacy might permeate therapeutic...
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Vol. 23, No. 2, 2015

Editorial
The end of year edition of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa is a mixed, yet highly stimulating offering. The three original papers offer thoughts on a range of topics: from psychoanalytic understandings of eating disorders, to short-term...
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Pathological Organisations and Psychic Encapsulation in Eating Disorders: A Contemporary Consideration
IntroductionUsing case material from three anorexic patients, this paper brings together several ideas that I have previously presented as a comprehensive thesis about anorexia. The overarching conceptual framework of the paper leans on several different...
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Colliding Worlds: Brief Dynamic Therapy from a Self Psychology Perspective
IntroductionThere have been times when I felt I inhabit two universes: the one that I read about in psychoanalytic journals, a world of theory and mostly long-term therapy case material, and the universe in which I carry out my daily clinical work in...
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The Masculinity of Male Psychotherapists: Towards Reflexive Praxis
IntroductionWhat does it mean to our practice of psychotherapy that we are sexed and gendered as therapists? How does gender play a role both in what is brought to us and in what we bring to the therapeutic encounter? It is these questions that this...
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'The Bodies and Minds of Babies in Relationship': Psychoanalytic Contributions to Johannesburg's First Infant Mental Health Conference
There is a growing pressure in South Africa, and internationally, to provide evidence-based, cost-effective and culturally-appropriate therapeutic interventions. It was therefore encouraging to see that many of the presentations at Johannesburg's first...
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Vol. 23, No. 1, 2015

Editorial
The beginning of the year saw the resignation of Professor Carol Long as Editor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, in order for her to focus her energies on her new role as mother to her baby girl. The Editorial board was sad to see Carol...
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Finding a Place for Working with Children in South African Communities
AbstractThis paper explores community based psychoanalytic and psychodynamic work with children and families and the professional framework within which it functions in South Africa. The perspective is that of a UK based child psychotherapist who spent...
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Missing in Action: Reflections on the Employment of the Paternal Function in Therapeutic Practice
AbstractThere is reasonable sized body of international literature addressing the paternal function in the clinical setting. Nevertheless there appears to be a relative absence of this function in clinical practice locally as well as globally. This article...
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The Dark Side of the Womb: Pregnancy, Parenting and Persecutory Anxieties
The Dark Side of the Womb: Pregnancy, Parenting and Persecutory Anxieties, by Joan Raphael-Leff London: Anna Freud Centre, 2015. ISBN 978-0-954-93194-0The author of this book, Joan Raphael-Leff, is well known to South African mental health professionals,...
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Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the Nineteenth Century
Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the Nineteenth Century, by Sally Swartz University of Cape Town Press, 2015. ISBN-10 1775820823 and ISBN-13 978-1775820826Cara BrowdeYou only are free when you realise you belong no...
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Vol. 22, No. 2, 2014

Providing a Containing Space for Unbearable Feelings
When psychologists work in situations of extreme deprivation, they may feel a pressure - both internal and external - to produce solutions for their clients, and to produce them quickly. If clients are to be given the best of what psychological help...
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The Elusive Paternal Function: Clinicians' Perspectives
AbstractAlthough the term 'paternal function ' is frequently employed in the psychoanalytic literature, a common understanding of what it constitutes cannot be assumed. In the context of changing constructions of gender and family structure, and in the...
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Psychoanalytic Training in South Africa: Attending to the Marginalia
AbstractThis paper aims to contribute to recent reflections on training in psychoanalytic practice in South Africa and internationally in response to growing recognition that psychoanalytic practitioners need to be well equipped to deal with contemporary...
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Obituary to Rika Van Den Berg
Our dear colleague and friend, Rika van den Berg, died on 1 September 2014. She was 58, and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just over seven weeks before her death. She had trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Cape Town, and...
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Editorial
It is with great sadness that we dedicate this edition to Rika van den Berg, who passed away on 1 September 2014. Rika was a past Editor of this journal and was a longstanding member of the journal's Editorial Board. Rika's vibrance and generosity of...
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Vol. 22, No. 1, 2014

Special Edition: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Contemporary South Africa
Being a part of the enterprise of psychoanalytic theory and practice in South Africa at this point in time can be deeply uncomfortable and unsettling. It can also be exciting and exhilarating. There is a sense of being a part of something meaningful...
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Words, Interpretation and Setting: Changing Forms of the Talking Cure
AbstractThis paper describes the relationship between the psychoanalytic setting and the work of analysis that takes place within that setting. Traditionally psychoanalytic theory has positioned the setting as the reassuring, unobtrusive and comfortable...
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Training of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Contemporary South Africa: Theoretical Dilemmas, Clinical Debates and Diverse Contexts
AbstractThis paper offers an outline of the theoretical dilemmas, clinical debates and challenges of diverse contexts in the training of psychoanalytically orientated psychotherapists in contemporary South Africa as well as globally. Radical changes...
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Some Considerations of the Role of Food in Community Work
IntroductionI would like to begin this paper with two descriptive snapshots. In April 1995 a case worker at a community centre in Manenberg was shot and killed by gangsters. I was involved in subsequent trauma counselling, offered at the community centre...
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Psychoanalysis and Primary Health Care
[A]t some time or other the conscience of society will awake and remind it that the poor man should have just as much right to assistance for his mind as he now has to the life-saving help offered by surgery (Freud, 1919, p. 167).Freud spoke these words...
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Couple Work in South Africa: A Historical Overview from Cape Town
Couple work in South Africa has grown over the years from its humble beginnings in the voluntary marriage guidance movement in South Africa. We have chosen to focus on this development as reflected in the establishment of the Association of Couple Psychoanalytic...
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Trauma, Reconciliation, Embodiment: An Account of the 9th and 10th SAPI Conferences [Franschhoek, February, 2013; February 2014]
2014 celebrated the 10th anniversary of the SAPI (South African Psychoanalytic Initiative) conference. As always, it was a most thought provoking event. Previous conferences had focused on salient topics such as 'Race', 'Trauma' and 'Conspicuous Consumption'....
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Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive: Towards a Psychosocial Praxis
Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive: Towards a Psychosocial Praxis, Edited by Garth Stevens, Norman Duncan and Derek HookPalgrave & Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1137-26389-6 and ISBN 978-1-86814-755-7Pathogenic by the very...
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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in South Africa: Contexts, Theories and Applications
IntroductionIn Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in South Africa: Contexts, Theories and Applications the editors, Cora Smith, Glenys Lobban and Michael O'Loughlin, state that the book is focused on 'how psychodynamic psychotherapy, as well as psychoanalytic...
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Vol. 21, No. 2, 2013

Editorial
It seems only fitting to begin this edition of Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa with a tribute to the passing, on 5th December 2013, of Nelson Mandela. Mandela's impact on South Africa is incalculable; he reminds us all of the possibility...
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The Long Road Home: A Poem of Different Voices
Nelson Rolihlahla MandelaXhosa born of the Thembu royal family(1)Goodbye MadibaGo tell it from Table MountainTell it through all the televisions of the worldThe man whose enemies shook his handThe man who passed through the passbooksOnce upon a rainbow...
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Till Death-Drive Us Apart: Associating Injury and Aggression in the Couple
AbstractThis paper explores the death drive and aggression and its relationship with narcissistic injury in the couple dynamic. Rather than thinking about the all-too-common effects of aggression in relationships, this paper examines its aims and how...
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Tri-Bar Mental Structure in Masochistic Perversion
AbstractThis paper introduces the concept of a Tri-bar third in relation to a perverse, masochistic patient. Using the visual metaphor of the Penrose Triangle, a series of theoretical and clinical observations exemplified by case material are discussed...
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Clinical Features of the Container Function
AbstractBion's model of 'containing' has had considerable impact on psychoanalytic theory and technique. After briefly reviewing his key contributions and clarifying the essential aspects of container-contained relations, this paper explores the clinical...
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Psychoanalytic Work on a Teenage Cancer Ward
IntroductionThis brief paper addresses the psychoanalytically informed work carried out by child and adolescent psychotherapists who function as part of a multi-disciplinary paediatric liaison team at a large National Health Service teaching hospital...
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Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013

Editorial
The definition of psychoanalytic treatment as the study of the mind in conflict has disembodied Freud's radical insight that psychic life is originally and perpetually rooted in corporeal existence. Karen Gubb, whose paper Re-embodying the analyst is...
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Re-Embodying the Analyst
AbstractThis paper focuses on comments made by patients about the body of the analyst in therapeutic exchanges. The paper begins by exploring the nature of the asymmetry between analyst and patient and its theoretical foundations in psychoanalysis. The...
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Reframing the Frame: Reflections of a Community Service Psychologist
AbstractThe paper offers a narrative description of a clinical psychologist's community service year from an experience-near vantage point. The socio-historical context of the placement, clinical populations encountered and very real limitations of undertaking...
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The Farthest Reaches
AbstractThis paper draws on the responses of two psychoanalytically trained psychotherapists during the course of their work with children in South African community clinics and hospitals. The authors describe some of the impacts on their minds and bodies...
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Lacanian Psychotherapy: Theory and Practical Applications
Lacanian Psychotherapy: Theory and Practical Applications, by Michael J. Miller. New York and London: Routledge, 2011. ISBN 978-0-415-69274-8Lacanian psychoanalysis has a reputation - not totally unjustified - of being somewhat arcane. For many, that...
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Vol. 20, No. 2, 2012

Editorial
Carol Long and Gavin IveyThe discipline of psychoanalytic psychotherapy finds itself in exciting times, internationally and locally. The plurality of current psychoanalytic theories offers a variety of different perspectives and approaches from which...
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'Vrot Kolletjies': Shame, Silence and Enactment in Psychotherapy with Impoverished Clients
AbstractThis paper explores how shame functions in psychotherapeutic encounters in the South African context, particularly in encounters between middle-class psychologists and their impoverished clients. Informed by intersubjective psychoanalysis, shame...
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Thinking about Contextual Deprivation in Mother-Infant Work in South Africa
AbstractThis paper is based on a 12 week New Beginnings group intervention for mothers and their infants in a shelter in Johannesburg, South Africa. Contextual deprivation loomed large in the therapeutic encounter and preoccupied both participants and...
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Reflections on Psychoanalytic Writing
Most of the psychoanalytically oriented clinicians I know love to read in their field. Contained in the journals and books at our disposal can be found descriptions of unconscious experience, of indefinability and uncertainty, and of the creativity of...
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What Is Psychoanalysis: 100 Years after Freud's Secret Committee
What is Psychoanalysis: 100 Years after Freud's Secret Committee, by Barnaby Barratt.London and New York: Routledge, 2013. ISBN 978-0-415-69274-8Because the answer would be self-evident, it is unlikely that anything other than an introductory text in...
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Vol. 20, No. 1, 2012

Editorial
Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa has offered the PPSA Mervin Glasser Postgraduate Student Prize for the second time in 2012. This edition opens with the 2012 winning essay, written by Gareth Mitchell, The development of psychoanalytic understandings...
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The Development of Psychoanalytic Understandings of Male Homosexuality: Moving beyond Pathology
AbstractThis paper investigates the psychoanalytic theories of male homosexuality at our disposal, with particular focus on the oedipal stage of development. Responding to the question of whether one ought to retain the Oedipus complex as a central organising...
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'The Mothers Have Mercy for Me': Change in Parent-Infant Relationships through Group Psychotherapy
Abstract:Group parent-infant psychotherapy aims to increase parents' sensitivity to the communications of their infants and encourages normal attachment behaviours in infants. While it is significant that this kind of therapy has been found to be effective...
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'My Baby Cries for Nothing': Mentalisation Challenges in the Face of Negative Countertransference When Working with Mothers Who Struggle to Hold Their Babies in Mind
AbstractThis paper describes the countertransference challenges facing two psychotherapists working in a group mother-infant attachment programme, focusing specifically on the moments of collapsed thinking experienced in the face of powerful maternal...
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A Psychology Student's Reflections on Learning Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in the Classroom
The majority of undergraduate psychology students have scant, and frequently inaccurate, exposure to psychodynamic psychotherapy, which appears to heavily influence their choice of postgraduate programs and reduces the likelihood that they will expose...
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Chance Encounters with Marion Milner
Lucky packetIn 1952 Marion Milner gave a talk on 'Aspects of absentmindedness in relation to creative process.' (see Milner, 1952). She told her audience she was going to present certain beads of her own experience and was hoping, with their help, to...
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Projective Identification: The Fate of a Concept
Projective Identification: The Fate of a Concept edited by Elizabeth Spillius and Edna O'Shaughnessy London: Routledge, 2012. ISBN 978-0-415-60529-8The concept of projective identification, first developed by Melanie Klein in the 1940's, is one that...
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