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Hinshelwood, B. (1992). Clinical Lectures on Klein and Bion edited by Robin Anderson. Published by Routledge, London, 1991; 139 pages; £9.99.. Brit. J. Psychother., 8(4):447-449.

(1992). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 8(4):447-449

Clinical Lectures on Klein and Bion edited by Robin Anderson. Published by Routledge, London, 1991; 139 pages; £9.99.

Review by:
Bob Hinshelwood

These nine lectures were all given by senior Kleinian psycho-analysts on three study days organised by the Institute of Psycho-Analysis in London. Six lectures were on Klein, and three on Bion. An introduction of an historical kind has been added by Robin Anderson, the editor of this published collection. The lectures were conceived as a whole for a ‘mixed audience’ to present the ideas and the practice of current Kleinian psycho-analysts. Each lecture gives a practical feel to the ideas by illustrating every step with clinical material.

This is a major work in that the most senior practitioners have been asked to cover systematically the scope of Kleinian discoveries and to present them in a form that is accessible to the interested public. I approached the book with the intention of liking it and applauding it; and I finished it with the belief that my preconceived judgement had been confirmed. I was satisfied. I had a good read.

There is no doubt that the book succeeds in giving an important insight into the way Kleinians think, and the way these thoughts are put into action in the consulting room. The lectures do not compromise on the complexities; they do not ‘talk down to their audiences' as Hanna Segal's foreword points out (p. ix). The twin objectives of engaging with complexity and accessibility to the public creates a tension for the reader (and authors) which is highly fruitful at the best moments. These are where the author takes us into the deeply intricate twists and turns of the details of the material of their patient.

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