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Hinshelwood, B. (1988). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(2):147-148.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(2):147-148


Bob Hinshelwood

Robin Balbernie's attempt to learn from a failure of psychotherapy is admirably candid. He deals with a single case of an individual who remained impervious to contact at the verbal level with the therapist. The tolerance of actual regression to preverbal levels, in contrast to interpretation, has been a secondary refrain in the history of psychotherapy - from Ferenczi, to Balint and Winnicott, to the newer and creative therapies. Richard Corney's essay is an extended reflection upon those envious personalities that defy contact with the therapist except through drawing the therapist into their self-created worlds.

Both these writers are nudging the limits of psycho-analytic therapy.

What is beyond? What are the therapies that lie outside the domain of psychoanalysis? The Journal organised a Conference in April 1988 to help air views on psycho-analysis and psycho-analytic psychotherapy. We were very appreciative of the UCL Psycho-Analysis Unit who hosted the Conference; and we are pleased to publish the papers of the speakers who stimulated the discussions. Much thought emerged but with little final clarity. The general view that it was nevertheless a useful opportunity suggests the importance, to psychotherapists at least, of reflection over conclusive decisions. Several comments were subsequently received and we have included them with the texts of the papers by Joe Sandler, Heinz Wolff, Anton Obholzer and Margot Waddell. The expression of tensions and contradictions is well represented and confronted in all these contributions.

[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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