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Milton, J. (1997). Editorial. Psychoanal. Psychother., 11(1):1-1.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 11(1):1-1


Jane Milton

In this issue of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy the first three papers look at work in three different NHS settings.

Bell's account of work in an in-patient therapeutic community looks at critical issues in such work. This includes in particular how tension between, on the one hand individual psychotherapy, and on the other, nursing and community treatment, arises; and how the author believes that this needs to be managed as far as possible with the maintenance of a classical psychotherapeutic setting.

Morton's paper from an outpatient clinic describes individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a woman who felt ‘haunted’ by the ghost of her father, and draws on some of the scarce psychological literature on ghosts in thinking about the psychic phenomena involved.

Stewart's paper departs somewhat from our usual range, in describing a music-therapy group in a residential community setting for people with severe chronic mental illness. Stewart argues that music therapy can be conceptualised and applied using a psychoanalytical perspective. After a detailed literature review, he illustrates his point with clinical material showing the way in which he understands the use of transference and countertransference with this non-verbal medium.

The following three papers are on the subject of assessment for psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The first two (by Milton and Schachter) originate from a recent APP conference on the subject, and address the complex issues around suitability for treatment. My paper takes a somewhat macroscopic overview of a subject which Schachter then tackles more microscopically through detailed clinical material, with ideas held in common as well as some divergences. The final paper, by Sandell & Fredelius, offers an unusual perspective on the subject, describing research in which professional and lay panels rated patients’ priority for psychotherapy, on the basis of clinical vignettes. Interesting differences in judgment emerged between the groups.

Finally, it is with great sadness that we report the death of Marion Burgner, an Editorial Board member of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in our early days (Volumes 1-4). Marion's hard and dedicated work, not just for the journal itself, but in so many other ways, in the furtherance of psychoanalytical thinking and its applications in public-sector work, will be remembered in an obituary in our next issue.

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