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Casement, P. (1993). The Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique: By R. Horacio Etchegoyen. London: Karnac Books. 1991. Pp. 863.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:393-396.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:393-396

The Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique: By R. Horacio Etchegoyen. London: Karnac Books. 1991. Pp. 863.

Review by:
Patrick Casement

This book, translated from the Spanish, is described in the Foreword by Wallerstein as 'an impressively comprehensive effort to truly encompass the world-wide literature … in the four major psychoanalytic languages … English, German, French, and Spanish' (p. xxviii), and so it is. Etchegoyen shares with us the fruits of his extensive study of all the most significant works on psychoanalytic technique. Wallerstein points out only one serious exception, that of Erikson. One other interesting omission is that of Robert Langs.

In the Preface, Etchegoyen mentions his analytic background: his training analysis with Racker and subsequent analysis with Meltzer; his supervision with Betty Joseph, Money-Kyrle, Grinberg, Herbert Rosenfeld, Resnik, Hanna Segal, Marie Langer, Liberman, Esther Bick and Pichon Rivière. It is, indeed, an impressive list, and it is not surprising that he describes himself as a 'fanatical Kleinian'. He is, in fact, anything but that, being both unusually generous in his consideration of other writers and open in his criticism of some Kleinian excesses. And, throughout, he remains close to clinical experience as the ultimate test of all theory—a recurring theme being his wish to demonstrate the links between theory and practice at every stage, being critical of those who remain too wedded to their theory: 'we analysts sometimes listen more to our theories than to our patients' (p. 549).

The book is pleasingly constructed, each chapter leading naturally to the next.

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