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Abelin-Sas, G. (2002). Tradition, Change, Creativity. Repercussions of the New Diaspora on Aspects of British Psychoanalysis. Riccardo Steiner. London: Karnac Books. 2000. Pp. 362.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 83(4):958-960.
    

(2002). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 83(4):958-960

Tradition, Change, Creativity. Repercussions of the New Diaspora on Aspects of British Psychoanalysis. Riccardo Steiner. London: Karnac Books. 2000. Pp. 362.

Review by:
Graciela Abelin-Sas

The author now focuses on the impact of the arriving refugees upon the thinking and the training of the British Psychoanalytic Society. The New Diaspora has taken place and the Institution is shaken by many clashes: ideologies, personalities and different meanings attributed to the same concepts. Problems are also centred on modalities of clinical thinking: how much weight should intuition and inference be given over more logical, research-supported data (even though derivative-based), in interpretation and reconstructions?

For those of us who had the privilege to read through the Controversial Discussions (King & Steiner, 1992) it is fascinating to see the historian summarise as well as situate these in the socio-political context that he has already delineated in the book previously reviewed. With great clarity, Steiner underlines the main issues that separated Kleinians from Freudians. Through well-chosen passages, their technical, theoretical and clinical differences are lucidly sketched out. These most creative psychoanalytic thinkers had to find ways of clarifying, reconceptualising, exchanging, defending and finally restructuring their Institution.

Steiner dedicates one chapter, the introduction to Part Two of his book, to describing the importance of Joseph Sandler's thinking in the development of his own ideas. He reminds us that, very courageously (considering that some of the participants to these discussions were still alive and the wounds inflicted during the Scientific Discussions still unhealed), Sandler edited, in 1967, a limited edition of these documents for the internal use of the British Psychoanalytic Society.

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