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Cooper, J. (1984). Hidden Selves. Between Theory and Practice in Psychoanalysis: By M. Masud R. Khan. London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1983. Pp. 204.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:497-498.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:497-498

Hidden Selves. Between Theory and Practice in Psychoanalysis: By M. Masud R. Khan. London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1983. Pp. 204.

Review by:
Judy Cooper

When reading any book on psychoanalysis, one is always hoping to discover how others do it and what really goes on between two people in the potentially exciting framework provided by the analytic setting. In Hidden Selves, (a collection of his more recently published papers), Masud Khan, who is a learned and distinguished analyst, gives the historical background to the present-day focus on self-awareness, and the change in 'European man's epistemology of self-experience', and then goes on to share with us some fascinating scenarios from his private practice.

Indeed, reading Khan's book is an experience; and although a charismatic analyst is a contradiction in terms and contravenes the accepted convention of strict neutrality in the analytic process, no one knows better than Khan how to take someone authoritatively into 'analytic care' and to provide him with the secure coverage of 'therapeutic management'.

For Khan, there is no static definition of self. In fact, he feels one lives much of one's life hidden both from oneself and others and there is no single or totally knowable version of self or self-experience. He feels one is only truly free to relate to others from the registered privacy and awareness of one's own self-experience. Most people, however, have impingements/clutter/defences which prevent this self-awareness and growth, and classical psychoanalysis does not always help: in fact it can steel the armour.

For Khan there is no such thing as truth, only metaphor.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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