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Moylan, D. (1995). The Treatment of the Borderline Patient. Applying Fairbairn's Object Relations Theory in a Clinical Setting. By David P. Celani New York: International Universities Press 2003 Pp. xxi + 188. $28.50.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 9:209-211.

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(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9:209-211

Book Reviews

The Treatment of the Borderline Patient. Applying Fairbairn's Object Relations Theory in a Clinical Setting. By David P. Celani New York: International Universities Press 2003 Pp. xxi + 188. $28.50.

Deirdre Moylan

This book, which explores an important clinical application of Fairbairn's work ought to be welcome. Celani describes being electrified by his discovery of Fairbairn through Greenberg & Mitchell's Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory (1983). Yet pitfalls await the freshly-galvanised but unsuspecting disciple in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

Fairbairn inaugurated a series of revolutionary changes in psychoanalytic theory, but showed no desire to found a school. As Symington has observed, Fairbairn's clinical theories have remained relatively uncontaminated by those disciples, characteristic of psychoanalytic ‘schools’, who give lip-service to the words of their master, but misunderstand and misinterpret the content. Knowledge of Fairbairn today still comes from a direct reading of his papers, whereas it is quite possible for us to think that we know the theories of Melanie Klein, or Heinz Kohut, for example, through the practice of their followers (Symington 1994).

Celani, in keeping with this situation, tells how he next immersed himself in Fairbairn's Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (1952). What unfolds in Celani's book is an interesting, if somewhat immodest-sounding, account of how he felt that he had already arrived at conclusions similar to those of Fairbairn before reading either Greenberg & Mitchell or Fairbairn. As a result of this agreement between Fairbairn and himself, he would be able to

illustrate how potent and complete Fairbairn's

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