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Richards, M. (2007). This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries by Thomas H. Ogden. Published in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis by Routledge, London and New York, 2005; 143 pp; £50.00 hardback, £18.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 23(3):474-476.

(2007). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 23(3):474-476

This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries by Thomas H. Ogden. Published in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis by Routledge, London and New York, 2005; 143 pp; £50.00 hardback, £18.99 paperback.

Review by:
Michael Richards

The title of this book raises the old question of whether psychoanalysis should be classified as science or art. Coming as I do from a scientific background and having recently reviewed a book for this Journal that assumes that psychoanalysis has advanced - and should advance - by subjecting its claims to scientific test, I find myself struggling to integrate the two perspectives. Ogden himself seems to succeed in this task, for instance, by combining a masterly examination of Freud's ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ paper (claiming to find there the genesis of the idea of an internal object, and therefore of object relations theory) with frequent citing of poems and poetical insights by Borges and Frost. Bion, to whom Ogden seems most indebted, has shown that, in exploring the contribution to epistemology made by psychoanalysis, the approaches of both the scientist (the grid, for example) and the artist (the concept of O) are both valuable.

There are eight chapters in the book and seven of them are based on papers that Ogden has published during the last four years. I hope this will not deter potential readers - or purchasers - because it is in the bringing together of different strands in his thinking that the strength of this book lies.

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