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Oliner, M.M. (1994). A Woman's Unconscious Use of her Body: By Dinora Pines. London: Virago Press. 1993. Pp. 243.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:413-416.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:413-416

A Woman's Unconscious Use of her Body: By Dinora Pines. London: Virago Press. 1993. Pp. 243.

Review by:
Marion M. Oliner

At the present time, it is rare to find work devoted to the interaction between mind and body even though this interaction provided the cornerstone of the psychoanalytic edifice. Rather, psychoanalysts have accepted the relegation of the body to medicine and psychiatry, while they focus either on the individual or his objects. This volume by Dinora Pines dedicated to a woman's use of her potential for reproduction to solve unconscious conflicts comes as a welcome exception to the general trend, and for this alone the author is to be commended. In addition, she demonstrates by means of many case examples how women attempt to use the capacity to bear children as a means of enacting unconscious fantasies, frequently resulting in frustration and grief. But, above all, what comes across in these pages is Dinora Pines's personal warmth and concern for her patients, which is conveyed in a direct and easily accessible style.

The book is composed of a collection of articles written over the last twenty years, about which Pines says:

Reading them over has made me aware of my own increasing emphasis on the importance of benevolent and compassionate listening, no matter what the analyst's theoretical orientation. Such a stance is sometimes difficult to maintain in a psychoanalytic dialogue, as it is in any close relationship between two people where one's own feeling of hatred and destructiveness towards the other may be un-consciously aroused, however strongly they are consciously defended against.

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