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Mann, D. (1991). Dream, Phantasy and Art by Hanna Segal. Published by Tavistock/Routledge, London, 1991; 120 pages; £10.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(4):426-428.

(1991). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(4):426-428

Book Reviews

Dream, Phantasy and Art by Hanna Segal. Published by Tavistock/Routledge, London, 1991; 120 pages; £10.99 paperback.

Review by:
David Mann

Hanna Segal's previous papers have established her as an outstanding contributor to the development of Kleinian theory in such areas as aesthetics, symbolism, dreams and psychotic thinking. This new book brings the reader up to date with her current thinking about these issues and much more.

It is worth saying at the outset that this book is very approachable and readable. This is not something that can be said about all Kleinian writers as Grotstein (1990) admits. In terms of writing style the book is clear, intelligible and the theoretical statements are richly illustrated with examples. It is easy to see why Segal has and deserves such a high reputation as a teacher.

The book is aimed at both the general reader as well as the psychoanalyst. With this in mind the first five chapters serve as an introduction to the basic ideas of Freud and the Kleinians. Chapter one, ‘The royal road’, begins with an outline of Freud's dream theory. The reader familiar with the basic concepts may well find the opening pages uninteresting and simplistic. I was a little disconcerted by the first couple of pages which suggested that the book might be aimed too much at the uninformed reader. My doubts, however, were quickly dispelled. The first two chapters focus on the theories of Freud and Klein. Not until the third chapter does Segal introduce some of her own original ideas. This chapter, on symbolism, restates her earlier conclusions about the role and function of symbolic equation and symbolic representation in the development of symbol formation and the maturation of the ego.

[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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