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Malin, A. (1989). The Matrix of the Mind. Object Relations and the Psychoanalytic Dialogue: By Thomas H. Ogden, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1986. 270 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 58:273-276.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:273-276

The Matrix of the Mind. Object Relations and the Psychoanalytic Dialogue: By Thomas H. Ogden, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1986. 270 pp.

Review by:
Arthur Malin

Ogden states, "My goal in the present volume is to contribute to the retrieval of the alienated through my own acts of interpretation of ideas introduced by Klein, Winnicott, Fairbairn, and Bion" (p. 4). Further, "[M]y aim is to clarify, critique and interpret, and in the process to generate new analytic understanding" (p. 2).

After a short introductory chapter Ogden discusses Klein's work in the next four chapters. A sixth chapter devotes fourteen pages to briefly describing the contributions of Freud, Abraham, Klein, Fairbairn, Winnicott, and Bion to the development of the concept of internal object relations. Ogden then offers his own reworking and reinterpretation of these contributions. Chapters 7 and 8 concern the work of Winnicott. The short, last chapter, "Dream Space and Analytic Space," describes Ogden's extension of Winnicott's concept of potential space.

I looked forward to reading Ogden's new book because I was somewhat familiar with his prior writings. Although I differed with some of his ideas, I was always intrigued and stimulated by them. However, after studying this latest work, I feel that his formulations concerning Melanie Klein and, to a lesser extent, Winnicott are more revisions than "interpretations." In recasting their concepts into new forms, he has rendered some of them unrecognizable. I was left, ultimately, to wonder where Klein and Winnicott had left off and where Ogden had begun.

Ogden's overall perception of Klein is simply not so consonant with my understanding of her psychoanalytic framework.

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