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Tuckett, D. (2015). Betty Joseph 1917-2013. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(1):201-209.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(1):201-209


Betty Joseph 1917-2013 Language Translation

David Tuckett

Photograph provided by Michael Feldman.

Betty Joseph, who died aged 96 on 4 April 2013, was a member of the British Society, a Sigourney Prize winner, an internationally acclaimed teacher and supervisor and one of the most outstanding contributors to clinical psychoanalysis, ever.

Joseph's main written contributions were gathered together with the help of Michael Feldman and Elizabeth Spillius in her Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change (Joseph, 1989), published in the New Library of Psychoanalysis. Central to her thinking, teaching and practice was her work on transference and countertransference, approached through the lens of attending to the fine details of the psychoanalytic session and the analyst's and patient's contributions to it. To set out her contribution as clearly as I can I will use her paper Transference: The total situation as illustrative of my view of her seminal contribution.

The paper was presented at a scientific symposium of the British Society in December 1983 and then published in this Journal in 1985 (Joseph, 1985). It starts with characteristic Joseph phrasing - familiar not just to colleagues in clinical and scientific discourse but also to friends and relatives when making social arrangements with her. She states her intention to discuss “how we are using the concept of transference in our clinical work today” (italics added).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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