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Schafer, R. (1991). Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change: Selected Papers of Betty Joseph: Edited by Elizabeth Bott Spillius and Michael Feldman. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge. 1989. (New Library of Psychoanalysis, No. 9, published in association with the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London.) Pp. 230.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 72:169-171.

(1991). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 72:169-171

Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change: Selected Papers of Betty Joseph: Edited by Elizabeth Bott Spillius and Michael Feldman. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge. 1989. (New Library of Psychoanalysis, No. 9, published in association with the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London.) Pp. 230.

Review by:
Roy Schafer

This volume, comprising a remarkably illuminating series of essays, spans thirty years in the career of a leading figure in the evolution of modern Kleinian thought. Miss Joseph's odyssey as a Kleinian analyst is itself a fascinating study, most helpfully narrated herein by her dedicated colleagues and editors in their introductory and transitional commentaries. I shall not retrace their path through this history as to do so would be only to repeat their concise account. Mrs Spillius has also edited the two-volume work, Melanie Klein Today, in an equally informative way.

That there has evolved a modern Kleinian approach may come as a surprise to those anchored well within the confines of Freudian ego psychology. For it is hard to think of each differing school of psychoanalysis as having its own history, that is, as having developed beyond the thoughts of the school's founder and his or her circle. We do not ordinarily attribute process, diversity, or controversy to these schools, tending rather to limit ourselves to some first-hand or second-hand perusal of the founders' classical works. As outsiders, we either look for or simply assume the presence of homogeneity and constancy over time, hoping thereby to establish a clear, recognizable and safe picture of what initially is strange to us. The result of this simplification can only be excessive reliance on selective citation and other stereotyping devices rather than an entry into the complexities of continuing dialogue; in the end one is left with a handful of alienating clichés of one's own or one's teachers.

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