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Reppen, J. (1995). Psychoanalysts Talk. By Virginia Hunter. New York: Guilford Press, 1994, xviii + 456 pp., $35.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:1197-1201.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:1197-1201

Psychoanalysts Talk. By Virginia Hunter. New York: Guilford Press, 1994, xviii + 456 pp., $35.00.

Review by:
Joseph Reppen

Eleven noted psychoanalysts talked and talked and talked to Virginia Hunter, a California psychoanalyst and psychotherapist who videorecorded their remarks and has now presented them verbatim in this unique and enriching volume. Each analyst was also presented with a brief summary of the psychoanalytic treatment of a 45-year-old borderline woman, together with brief excerpts from two sessions spaced 5 years apart. The diverse comments of the 11 analysts follow their videorecorded interviews. Five of the interviews have already appeared in The Psychoanalytic Review.

The volume contains an excellent foreword by León Grinberg, who notes that although this interview format (i.e., providing similar data to a number of practitioners) has been used before, what makes Hunter's work valuable are the extensive in-depth interviews that leave the reader anticipating and even predicting the analysis of the case.

Hunter has given us a valuable resource for historians of contemporary psychoanalysis and a statement of the variegated psychoanalytic enterprise. Hunter comments:

Each of these outstanding individuals has a personal history and personal integrity that necessarily mark his or her works. Each has a personal way of working, of evolving an analytic relationship, and of stimulating the emergence of analytic and other interpersonal relatedness. The frame I presented, although left as open as possible, was still mine. The video camera was mine; the final editing, although mine to complete, had to be approved for publication by each subject. This mode of response to analytic material was not as easy for some as for others, since people obviously relate, think, and present in their own special ways. Time and many other factors may have influenced in the light in which some are seen. It may be that the light cast on some was a result of the nature of the study and the case chosen. Several participants were frank in saying they generally do not treat patients as disturbed....

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