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Hinshelwood, R.D. (1991). Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change, by Betty Joseph, 1989, Routledge, £29.95 hb, £14.95 pb. Free Associations, 2(2):295-310.

(1991). Free Associations, 2(2):295-310

Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change, by Betty Joseph, 1989, Routledge, £29.95 hb, £14.95 pb

Review by:
R. D. Hinshelwood

The turmoil of absorbing Bion's ideas has left a most fluid situation within British psychoanalysis, but the time seems to have come in the last decade, since his death, when a trend in Kleinian ideas can be discerned that comes after Bion. And this is associated with the name of Betty Joseph, who has produced a series of highly subtle clinical observations concerning a certain type of patient. Like Melanie Klein in her most crucial creative period between 1934 and 1946 when she worked with a close group in a highly integrated team approach, Betty Joseph has similarly worked with a group of colleagues leading a regular workshop over the last ten years. The papers Betty Joseph has produced therefore represent the work of a group of which she is the inspirational lead. The book also includes brief introductory sections written by Michael Feldman, one of the members of the workshop, and he involved with him Elisabeth Spillius, perhaps the foremost chronicler of the recent history of Kleinian ideas (Spillius, 1988a, 1988b).

The publication of this book implies an important statement of current Kleinian thinking, an important and central account of the sharp end of Kleinian research. To make it a source-book for this new thinking, to which those outside the Kleinian group, and students, can go, the editors have pointed up the special contributions in a general introduction to the book, and an introduction to each of the four chronological sections (‘Beginnings’, ‘Breakthrough’, ‘Consolidation’ and ‘Recent developments’). All these introductions are expository of the ideas that Joseph is presenting.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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