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Schwartz, J. (2013). Envy is Not Innate: A New Model of Thinking by Patricia Polledri. Published by Karnac, London, 2012; 224 pp; £22.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(2):259-262.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(2):259-262

Envy is Not Innate: A New Model of Thinking by Patricia Polledri. Published by Karnac, London, 2012; 224 pp; £22.99 paperback.

Review by:
Joseph Schwartz

For the last decade I have been arguing that psychoanalysis is going through a paradigm shift that is taking over a century to complete. The initial conflict between Freud and Fliess over the aetiological origins of hysteria - psychological or organic - developed in the 1920s into a paradigm struggle over instinct (drive in better translations) versus relationship as the aetiological origin of mental pain. In the next generation, Fairbairn, Winnicott and Bowlby in the UK and White, Sullivan and Thompson in the USA drew swords with Klein's instinctual theory based theoretically on Freud's death drive and Klein's formulation of envy as constitutionally based. Matters came to a head in the UK in the violent Controversial Discussions of 1941-45 with Marjorie Brierley accusing Klein and Riviere of being ‘insufficiently scientific’. Peace was restored by Sylvia Payne in a live-and-let-live compromise. Hostilities then played out in more subtle ways: Bowlby had to hire his own secretary at the Tavi; Fairbairn remained isolated up in Scotland; Winnicott pleaded with Klein to allow him into her circle (Schwartz, 1999). When the BCP split off from the UKCP 20 years ago, it was clear that the same sectarianism that has plagued psychoanalysis since its inception was still in force.

What is the present position? Over the last 50 years there has been a slow accumulation of clinical and research experience consolidating Fairbairn's original formulation that the human being is fundamentally object seeking not pleasure seeking.

[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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