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Stevens, J.L. (2016). Holding and Psychoanalysis: A Relational Perspective, Second Edition by Joyce Slochower Routledge, London, 2014; 196 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(1):243-247.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(1):243-247

Holding and Psychoanalysis: A Relational Perspective, Second Edition by Joyce Slochower Routledge, London, 2014; 196 pp.

Review by:
Jennifer L. Stevens, Ph.D.

In 1996, the year of the initial publication of Holding and psychoanalysis: A relational perspective, I was inching towards the end of an extended graduate school career in a largely ego psychological doctoral program when I discovered Joyce Slochower's quietly bold and important first book. The psychoanalytic climate of the latter half of the eighties and the nineties in the United States, which was infused with the larger intellectual culture's postmodern critiques of positivist theories and power, was a very exciting time for many of us fledgling analytic therapists and future psychoanalysts. It was a time of much-needed critique of classical psychoanalysis and exciting innovations in clinical technique. A skeptic by nature, however, I began to experience a nagging discomfort and growing, yet divided and confused, disagreement with the shift in emphasis from the elaboration of the patient's internal world to the emphases on the analyst's subjectivity and the explicit interaction in the patient-analyst dyad. Furthermore, what I was reading did not always fit with my experience with patients, especially my more troubled patients, for many of whom something like a coherent sense of self, mutuality and collaboration seemed to be distant possibilities.

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