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Newman, K. (1983). Borderline and Other Self Disorders: By Donald B. Rinsley. New York: Jason Aronson. 1982. Pp. 315.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:493-495.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:493-495

Borderline and Other Self Disorders: By Donald B. Rinsley. New York: Jason Aronson. 1982. Pp. 315.

Review by:
Kenneth Newman

Dr Rinsley's book represents a synthesis and integration of his work with a vast range of patients and his interest in the theory of a major personality disorder of our time. It represents over 20 years of effort and treatment experience and provides a cohesive way of viewing a large proportion of the patients who make up a contemporary psychoanalytic or psychiatric practice. The book conceptually attempts to integrate and reconcile the theories of a number of contemporary authors who, over the past 30 years, have significantly contributed to the understanding of these particular patients. Federn, Fairbairn, Jacobson, Kernberg and Kohut and Mahler are all considered with varying degrees of emphasis given to their contributions to Rinsley's overall synthesis. At times Rinsley's attempts to correlate a great deal of theory as well as diverse clinical phenomena diffuses his main themes and undermines the overall organization. At other times there is repetitiveness, since many of the chapters are actually from previous papers and hence are not sufficiently edited to give the reader a sense of a process of a book. Nevertheless, this ambitious undertaking offers many useful insights for the reader hoping to gain a deeper appreciation for those suffering from these disorders.

Although he begins with Federn's contributions to the understanding of the interplay between failures in early object relations and ego deficiency, the major influences on his work seem to be derived from Mahler, Kernberg and, interestingly, the complex theories of Fairbairn. His own resultant working theoretical approach has been shaped often in collaboration with James Masterson and is represented in the second chapter. Indeed many of the ensuing chapters having been based on previous papers are reworkings, repetitions and demonstrations of his central theme.

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