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Nass, M.L. (2019). Building Bridges: Selected Psychoanalytic Papers. By Helen K. Gediman. New York: International Psychoanalytic Books, 2018, 376 pp., $35.00 paperback.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 67(5):930-934.

(2019). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 67(5):930-934

Building Bridges: Selected Psychoanalytic Papers. By Helen K. Gediman. New York: International Psychoanalytic Books, 2018, 376 pp., $35.00 paperback.

Review by:
Martin L. Nass

In her most recent work, Helen Gediman has given us an account of more than fifty years in the evolution of her thought. An appropriate subtitle for the work would have been Inside the Mind of Helen Gediman. Her thinking over many years of psychoanalytic practice, teaching, and theorizing shows us her originality and flexibility of thought. In fact, her thinking shows several of the characteristics of the creative mind that I have described: “The ability to take the difficult path when there is a less anxiety provoking alternative and to ‘own’ one's work rather than view oneself as a passive receiver of ideas” and “The capacity to tolerate and maintain ambiguity and unclosure” (Nass 1993, p. 28).

Gediman has been able to allow contradictory points of view to coexist in her mind (and her writing), and to find imaginative ways to explain what would ordinarily seem a dilemma. The book takes the reader on a very personal journey into her evolution as a psychoanalyst, through her student days, through graduate school and analytic training, and to her current work and her manner of thinking as an analyst. She is forthcoming in sharing her thinking and dogged in maintaining her position in the face of criticism.

The book's introduction, by Fred Pine, offers a positive yet critical review of the work and sets forth Gediman's ability to hold and deal with points of view in conflict with each other.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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