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Thomas, C. (2009). Mind Works: Technique and Creativity in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychother., 23(4):366-367.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 23(4):366-367

Mind Works: Technique and Creativity in Psychoanalysis

Colin Thomas

Antonino Ferro, Routledge, 2009, ISBN 978-0-415-42992-4

Antonino Ferro's book is an articulate and creative exploration of Bion's clinical and theoretical insights and represents a significant development of post-Bion theory, in addition developing many subtle points about the technique of modern psychoanalysis.

Ferro amasses an impressive range of vignettes and clinical samples from his own work, and that of others, to draw out the spirit of Bion's clinical approach. He starts this in a subtle way, placing emphasis on scenes and situations brought to analysis, which eventually compel the attention of the reader. This approach produces emotions in him suggestive of the countertransference experiences Ferro wishes to emphasise in understanding disturbance. Ferro uses these building blocks to form an argument about the clinical importance of the states of mind of the analyst in following states of mind in his patients.

The initial chapter is somewhat difficult to read one's way into until Ferro becomes clearer and more supported by his comprehensive theoretical structure, developed in the central and later chapters.

As an analyst influenced by Bion's work, and the wider work on enactment and counter-transference, I found Ferro's approach a compelling way to convince us of the depth of his own clinical convictions. These are formed through experience, many years ‘simmering’ in the crucible of his own imaginative mental states in being affected by his patients' main concerns, many of them very deep and disturbing.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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