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Jackel, M.M. (1978). The Bipersonal Field: By Robert Langs. New York: Jason Aronson. 1976. Pp. 468.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:537-539.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:537-539

The Bipersonal Field: By Robert Langs. New York: Jason Aronson. 1976. Pp. 468.

Review by:
Merl M. Jackel

Those of you who are familiar with the author's previous popular work, The Technique of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, will be surprised at the turn he has taken. The present book consists of verbatim transcripts of five illustrative psychotherapy seminars conducted by the author. His approach is a mixture of post-Kleinian object relations theory and classical Freudian technique, leaning heavily on the writings of such authors as Viderman, Bion, de Racker, H. Racker and the Barangers. Although he states that this is an outgrowth of his previous book, the present approach represents a major shift in theory and technique.

As cursory reading, The Bipersonal Field is an interesting, controversial and stimulating book, providing insight into the author's thinking and his therapeutic techniques. However, it cannot be judged solely on such criteria, for in the introduction Langs states: 'I conceive of this volume as a major contribution toward the integration of the interactional dimension into classical psychoanalaytic theory and technique.' His book must therefore be evaluated on two levels.

On the level of cursory reading the book is badly edited.

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