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Stramer, R. (2011). Mind Works: Technique and Creativity in Psychoanalysis by Antonino Ferro Routledge, London, 2009; 240 pp; £24.99.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(6):1650-1658.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(6):1650-1658

Mind Works: Technique and Creativity in Psychoanalysis by Antonino Ferro Routledge, London, 2009; 240 pp; £24.99.

Review by:
Ricardo Stramer, Ph.D.

This is primarily a clinical book that aims to describe and demonstrate a particular set of techniques based on the importance of the container-contained paradigm in the development of the psyche.

The author bases much of his style of working on Bion and shows throughout the pages of this enthralling book how, by restraining his memory, desire and understanding in a session, he is able to find a method that allows him to connect to the patient's vertex, which in turn enables him to make the right intervention that can led to the expansion of the mental apparatus in the patient. In this way he is able to help the patient think that which is as yet unthinkable.

Ferro argues that interpretation involves a much more complex function than just the lifting of the repression. It frequently involves formulating for the first time unconscious processes which have never before come to light. The main instrument to achieve these aims is ‘reverie activity’, which is defined as the capacity to weave images that allows us to establish links between thoughts. Ferro studies this function repeatedly in the chapters of the present volume and identifies many factors involved for its successful attainment. The author clinically examines the ‘field’ where the analyst-patient encounter takes place and the vertices that are at play. Within this field, the author gives evidence of the various ways in which patients convey signals to their analysts. He states:

In my view, the interpretative formulation, the manner in which it is conveyed and its exhaustiveness should be based not on a ‘marriage’ of ours to a strong theory of interpretation, but instead on an increasingly well-honed capacity to receive the responses and emotional colorations contributed by the patient to the field after our interventions.


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