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Rangell, L. (1983). Difficulties in the Analytic Encounter: By John Klauber. New York/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1981. 235 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:99-104.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:99-104

Difficulties in the Analytic Encounter: By John Klauber. New York/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1981. 235 pp.

Review by:
Leo Rangell

This small but compact book represents an odyssey through the career of a thoughtful and serious psychoanalyst. John Klauber, a strong and articulate member of the middle or "independent" group of the British Institute for Psychoanalysis, was President of the British Psychoanalytical Society at his untimely death in August 1981. This volume, which he fortunately lived to see published, turns out to be a legacy of his psychoanalytic and personal thinking and feeling. It conveys, in a fashion which compels reading, the mind of the author, which was the essence of the man.

The book consists of ten selected papers gathered under the rubric of Difficulties in the Analytic Encounter. This is a fitting title not only because of the book's contents but also because the opening wedge into clinical material and the window to the unconscious during the psychoanalytic process are first and foremost the analysis of resistances. The papers span the twenty years of the 1960's and 1970's. They are grouped not chronologically but according to a logical division, in which they first describe difficulties intrinsic to the psychotherapeutic situation, then difficulties and problems of technique, and in the final third, difficulties arising from within the psychoanalyst. Two papers are added as appendices, presumably because they do not integrate well into the three main divisions. Both, however, add significant insights into basic areas of psychoanalytic concern. One is about method, and the other expresses a timeless interest in the psychology of religious belief.

The book is unusually cohesive for a collection of published articles. Each paper carries its own weight at an even and high level. The papers are brought up to date by the author via introductory comments in which he gives his view of them from a current perspective.

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