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Milton, J. (1995). Editorial. Psychoanal. Psychother., 9(2):105-105.
    

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9(2):105-105

Editorial

Jane Milton

In this issue of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy we include two sets of conference papers. The first is from the APP conference ‘Chromosomes on the Couch: addressing biological issues in psychotherapy’, held in April 1994. The problem tackled by all three writers is that of the ‘mind-brain’ interface in psychotherapy. Solms argues convincingly, using stroke sufferers as clinical examples, that the mind is as ‘real’ as the brain, and indeed that we need the two very different conceptual frameworks fully to understand psychopathology. Chiesa's two clinical examples are a patient with testicular feminisation syndrome and a therapeutic community. In both he shows how the tension between ‘psychological’ and ‘biological’ must be sustained and thought about for productive work to continue. McLean's emphasis is also on this tension, as he suggests how in everyday clinical practice the psychoanalytic psychotherapist can and should allow a ‘brain’ perspective to exist alongside that of the inner world of subjectivity.

The second conference was that held at the Tavistock Clinic in June 1994 as a tribute to the work of Henri Rey on the publication of a compilation of his works. Steiner and Rhode, in short presentations, express the extent of their debt to Rey in their work with psychotic, borderline and autistic patients. The long-awaited publication of Rey's work was welcomed, enabling as it did his original ideas about the structuring of the internal world of the psychotic to reach a wider audience.

The four remaining papers each address different aspects of our work as psychoanalytic psychotherapists in the NHS. McFadyen gives a moving observational account of babies and mothers in a special-care unit, putting this in the context of the theory and practice of infant observation and other knowledge about infant development. Hess presents the extended assessment of a patient with cancer, drawing on the psychosomatic literature, and suggesting some defensive function the disease may have served in this case. Tarnopolsky provides us with a useful framework for thinking about the everyday use of the countertransference. Finally, Winship, also with an emphasis on the countertransference, illustrates a psychoanalytically-informed approach to the nursing of drug-dependent patients.

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