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Kalsched, D.E. (2002). MITRANI, JUDITH L. A Framework for the Imaginary: Clinical Explorations in Primitive States of Being. Northvale, New Jersey, London: Jason Aronson, 1996. Pp. 307. Hbk.$45.00. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):316-319.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):316-319

MITRANI, JUDITH L. A Framework for the Imaginary: Clinical Explorations in Primitive States of Being. Northvale, New Jersey, London: Jason Aronson, 1996. Pp. 307. Hbk.$45.00

Review by:
Donald E. Kalsched

The discovery of this book in 1996 was for me one of those happy accidents that occur sometimes while browsing in psychoanalytic bookstores. Having wrestled for the prior 15 years with my own experience of ‘primitive mental states’ in the consulting room and having finally published my ideas about the ‘archetypal defences’ erected against the unbearable pain of early trauma, I discovered in this singular moment, that Judith Mitrani had reached very similar conclusions in completely independent work. Virtually every page of this book brought a ‘yes!’ of recognition, as well as a welcome appreciation for the author's excellent review of some Kleinian literature which was new to me. As I immersed myself in her theoretical and clinical work, this glow of sympathetic resonance gave way to a more differentiated appreciation and along with this, some areas of difference which I will mention briefly in my review of her second book (see below) which provides some lengthy case histories demonstrating her work.

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