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Gooch, J.A. (2002). Kleinians: Psychoanalysis Inside Out: Janet Sayers. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000, 242 pp., $50.00 hardcover, $14.99 paperback.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 50(3):1033-1034.

(2002). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 50(3):1033-1034

Kleinians: Psychoanalysis Inside Out: Janet Sayers. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000, 242 pp., $50.00 hardcover, $14.99 paperback.

Review by:
James A. Gooch

Janet Sayers is a teacher of psychoanalytic psychology in the sociology department of the University of Kent, a psychotherapist, and a writer. In about 200 pages, which include an introduction linking key elements of Freud's work and the ideas of Klein, she writes about the Kleinian revolution and evolution in a review of ten Kleinians that makes use of accounts of their personal and public lives, their families, and their patients. She does this in ten chapters, one about each person: Melanie Klein, “Discovering Inner Realities”; Susan Isaacs, “Children's Phantasies”; Joan Riviere, “Gender Masquerades”; Adrien Stokes, “Ballet and Art”; Herbert Rosenfeld, “Schizophrenics and Gangsters”; Wilfred Bion, “Group and Individual Analysis”; Esther Bick, “Infant Observation”; Francis Tustin, “Anorexia and Autism”; Hanna Segal, “Symbolism and Psychosis”; and Ronald Britton, “Exclusions and Elegies.”

From Sayers's acknowledgments at the beginning of the book of those family members and colleagues who provided biographical and other details, to the extensive bibliographies in the notes near the end, it is clear that much thorough and painstaking work went into the writing of this book. The same care shows in the index, in the photographs of each person at the start of his or her chapter, and in the development of the chapters themselves. As implied by the subtitle “Psychoanalysis Inside Out,” Sayers in her chapters describes the links between her subjects' life experiences and the evolution of their particular psychoanalytic contributions—the interplay of internal reality and external reality. She uses whatever biographical material she has been able to glean from letters, biographies, and so forth, to infer the personal experiences, traumas, struggles, and life experiences that may feasibly have contributed to the particular sensitivities of each writer. This in turn helps us to understand how they came to focus on what they did in their writings, the particular interactions in them of outer and inner reality, of love and hate, from infancy onwards in health and illness and maladaptation.

The subtitles of each chapter fairly well convey Sayers's focus on what she sees as each person's major contributions.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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