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Hinshelwood, B. (2008). Isabel Menzies Lyth 1917-2008. Brit. J. Psychother., 24(4):523-524.

(2008). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 24(4):523-524

Isabel Menzies Lyth 1917-2008 Related Papers

Bob Hinshelwood

Isabel Menzies was my first supervisor in my training to be a psychoanalyst. One of my most vivid memories was of one weekly supervision, in 1975, when she had a rather ostentatious posture with her hand draped on the back of the couch she sat on. Very visible was an engagement ring. Being a timid trainee I did not enquire about it, but it transpired that she was retiring from the Tavistock to get married to Oliver Lyth and move to him in Oxford. It was a very romantic little drama. Romance and ostentation are not qualities that really describe Isabel, who was a very down-to-earth Scots woman, who had originally trained as an economist and had found her way - through the work of the Tavistock Institute - to psychoanalysis.

I owe a lot to Isabel, and remarks she made in my supervision with her still come back to me as guiding lights that illuminate many problems in clinical work. One I always remember was her dismissal of what she called the ‘you mean me’ style of interpreting the transference, and it has always been a creative challenge to develop more meaningful, and less formulaic, interpretations which can live in the moment rather than distance analyst and analysand from the moment.

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