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Roos, E. (2005). Psykoanalyyttisia tutkielmia 2 [Psychoanalytic essays 2] By Pentti Ikonen Helsinki: Helsinki Univ. Press. 2004 199 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(5):1510-1515.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(5):1510-1515

Psykoanalyyttisia tutkielmia 2 [Psychoanalytic essays 2] By Pentti Ikonen Helsinki: Helsinki Univ. Press. 2004 199 pp.

Review by:
Esa Roos

This book is the second volume of the collected papers by Pentti Ikonen, the grand old man of the Finnish Psychoanalytical Society, one of its founders, and Honorary Member, whose 80th anniversary was celebrated in November 2004. The first part of his collected papers was published in 2000 (see Reenkola, 2002). Some of Ikonen's papers have been translated into English and Spanish, and many of them are co-authored with Eero Rechardt. In English, a collection of papers has recently been published (Rechardt, 2004).

This new collection is divided into four parts: the first continues his ideas on metapsychology and technique; the second part discusses dreams, creativity and love; the third part humbleness, freedom and values; and the fourth part the unknown old age. Ikonen's style of writing is unique, inimitable, rich in vignettes and nuances. His fine writing contains almost no unnecessary words and is therefore quite difficult to paraphrase.

His way of thinking may be considered quite unique in present-day psychoanalysis. As I have understood, he has reservations about some recent developments in psychoanalysis (relationality, intersubjectivism, developmental approach etc.). He skilfully clarifies old concepts. He sees weaknesses and problems in many new formulations concerning the true nature of the scientific identity of psychoanalysis. His approach is closer to the hermeneutical and phenomenological one, in the sense that he believes that we should primarily study through the consciousness of the analysand. I believe that his warnings are worth knowing. However, he also takes account of the biological prerequisites in the formation of the psychic world.

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