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Compton, A. (1997). Danger and Defense. : Edited by Marianne Goldberger. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson. 1996. Pp. 386.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:607-609.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:607-609

Danger and Defense. : Edited by Marianne Goldberger. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson. 1996. Pp. 386.

Review by:
Allan Compton

This volume, subtitled The Technique of Close Process Attention, is a festschrift in honour of Paul Gray. It consists of an introduction by the editor and thirteen chapters by twelve different authors. While not always easy to read, the chapters are thoughtful, stimulating and generally well written. The book as a whole is well edited and nicely produced. It deserves the widest possible psychoanalytic readership.

Danger and Defense is a second-generation exposition of Gray's original and challenging technical and theoretical innovations. Most of the authors have worked with Gray in one form or another and several of them constitute a study group that has been exploring and expanding upon his work for some years. Almost all of the chapters are clearly related to the technique of close process attention (CPA) and explore that technique and its utility from different angles. An interesting thread runs through the first eleven chapters, uniting careful descriptions of clinical technique with empirical research possibilities and ongoing endeavours, creating a tension between this kind of approach and what might be called ‘post-modern looseness’ as it appears intermittently all through the book, and especially in the last two chapters.

The introductory first chapter by Davison, Pray, Bristol & Welker is really a manual for CPA technique, in the best sense of the term ‘manual’. The essential concepts of the technique are defined, its precepts and principles stated and abundantly illustrated, the biases inherent in the approach are recognised and articulated, and an extended case example is presented.

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