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Marsh, J. (2015). Transformation: Jung's Legacy and Clinical Work Today edited by Alessandra Cavalli, Lucinda Hawkins and Martha Stevens. Published by Karnac, London, 2014; £23.99 paperback; £16.79 e book. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(1):139-141.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(1):139-141

Transformation: Jung's Legacy and Clinical Work Today edited by Alessandra Cavalli, Lucinda Hawkins and Martha Stevens. Published by Karnac, London, 2014; £23.99 paperback; £16.79 e book

Review by:
Jennifer Marsh

Transformation is a collection of papers from an international range of Jungian practitioners, many also involved in teaching and supervision. There is an inevitable difficulty for a reviewer in discussing work from a range of contributors, in seeking to avoid a listing of chapters and comments. With this volume I felt that the location of the Jung, or the Jungian ‘legacy’ from which they took their reference point, did not always overlap. (And there is the Jung who has informed my practice - and whose words I too have understood in my own way.)

It is a book from writers with impressive attention to breadth of theory. The thinking of these contemporary Jungians has roots in Bion (with valuable links and parallels extending the appreciation of both men), Winnicott, Ogden, Fonagy, Meltzer; sophisticated exploration of Matte Blanco; and occasional glances to the past, to Hillman, Guggenbuhl-Craig. (Not an exhaustive list.)

There are papers examining Jung's thinking on the archetypal expression of unconscious life, on unrepresentability, and on the psychoid unconscious, areas which have sometimes seemed to create barriers, sometimes distanced him as ‘mystical’. In Transformation the links made with other theorists both open out those aspects of his thinking, and perhaps, underline our need always to have diverse perspectives to support us in the work.

Who is the book for? The declared aim is ‘to bring together the thinking of those who approach their work from the lived experience in the consulting room, rather than adherence to a particular theory’. It seemed to me that the world of clinical thinking it presents is a multi-cultural one: its contribution is to a broad clinical community, though perhaps it will appeal more to experienced practitioners as clinical challenges propel us beyond our roots. (Though Jan Wiener's paper on money matters and their impact on the transference (Chapter 5) should also be on the reading list of every training organization.)

[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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