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Hernandez-Halton, I. (2015). Seventy Years on: Some Clinical Consequences of the Controversial Discussions. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(1):85-95.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(1):85-95

Seventy Years on: Some Clinical Consequences of the Controversial Discussions

Isabel Hernandez-Halton

Seventy years ago with much of the world engaged in a battle for survival in the Second World War, the British Psychoanalytical Society organized a series of scientific meetings to discuss the new theories of Melanie Klein. The paper starts with a historical background to the Controversial Discussions and moves on to discuss some of the main points of the debate. It revisits the concept of unconscious phantasy along with the debates on primary narcissism and the death instinct, also exploring its use and relevance in current clinical practice. Following Bion's idea that psychic change is felt as catastrophic, I attempt to link some of the anxieties and processes that were present during the Controversial Discussions with similar processes present in the psychoanalytic world today.

[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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