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Cooper, J. (1991). When Spring Comes: Awakenings in Clinical Psychoanalysis, by M. Masud R. Khan, Chatto & Windus, 1988, 212 pages, hb £16.95. Free Associations, 2(1):113-114.

(1991). Free Associations, 2(1):113-114

When Spring Comes: Awakenings in Clinical Psychoanalysis, by M. Masud R. Khan, Chatto & Windus, 1988, 212 pages, hb £16.95

Review by:
Judy Cooper

Masud Khan has certainly been one of the most exciting and colourful practitioners in psychoanalysis today. His case descriptions are riveting and he made high drama of the interactions which took place in his consulting-room.

When Spring Comes describes seven patients and Khan's dealings with them. It is clear that he was a psychoanalyst with an entirely different approach: ‘I do not recommend it to any other clinician.’ Indeed, it is a style which calls for wealth, breeding, authority and supreme confidence; and it is a style which resulted in active involvement in his patients'.lives. This certainly works for some, but for others who need the time and space to find their own ‘Hidden Selves’, the classical blank screen approach to their problems might prove more effective.

Masud Khan was both a learned and passionate man. He was unique too. There is no one in psychoanalytic literature who reveals so much about themselves in their clinical writings. He was, in reality, too fascinating and upstaged his patients. Perhaps one needs to be somewhat more boring to be a good analyst. By boring I mean grounded, stable and predictable.

In fact, this book discloses more about Khan himself than his past books have done and by this I feel he was unconsciously making an important statement about his predicament in life. His tone is angry and defiant. He makes searing racist attacks. Some of his revelations are not just exhibitionistic but seem quite outrageous. He hits out with blind rage and venom at those around him, meaning to shock and provoke a reaction.

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