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Silverstone, J. (2020). The Psychoanalyst's Superegos, Ego Ideal and Blind Spots: The Emotional Development of the Clinician by Vic Sedlak. Published by Routledge, Abingdon, 2019; 197 pp, £29.99 paperback. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(1):158-161.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(1):158-161

The Psychoanalyst's Superegos, Ego Ideal and Blind Spots: The Emotional Development of the Clinician by Vic Sedlak. Published by Routledge, Abingdon, 2019; 197 pp, £29.99 paperback

Review by:
Jennifer Silverstone

What a pleasure to come across a psychoanalytic book that invites us to reflect on our blind spots and interrogates our capacity to understand ourselves as well as understanding the encounter with our patients. How refreshing to be invited to think about the cornerstone of our feelings of sure-footedness around the central tenets of hostility and love. Sedlak asks us to come out of the shadows into the sunlight to the place where so often wary and weary patients are invited to tread.

Sedlak's central theme of exploring destructiveness, aggression and unconscious hostility is separate from but related to the death instinct, around which many of his arguments are framed. His aim, by exploring the darker side of human emotions, is to reveal that these feelings are sometimes evaded or only reluctantly acknowledged in the practitioner. As a consequence, they are not picked up in the transference or, crucially, the countertransference, and languish unexplored and unexamined at some cost to the treatment.

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