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Gibson, W. (2017). Independent psychoanalysis today, edited by Paul Williams, John Keene and Sira Dermen, Karnac, London, 2012; 448 pp. £32.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1260-1265.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1260-1265

Independent psychoanalysis today, edited by Paul Williams, John Keene and Sira Dermen, Karnac, London, 2012; 448 pp. £32.99

Review by:
Walter Gibson

This volume is the third collection of papers by independent analysts in the British Independent Tradition, following Gregorio Kohon in 1986 and Eric Rayner in 1991. As such, it is an interesting bookmark in the preoccupations and emphasis of leading independents, while standing alone as a substantive and impressively diverse articulation of independent voices. It succeeds in its aim of a demonstration of the independent valuation and comparative convergence of a recognizable open and pluralistic approach to independent practice, while containing markedly differing rooting in authority and theory.

One distinction amongst the contributors is between those who would readily identify as members of the Independent Group of the British Society, and those who would better be described as part of the ‘independent Tradition’. Michael Parsons (p. 65) differentiates the Group as the political project of dissociating itself from other British Society viewpoints, and the tradition as an active representation of a non-universalizing approach to the uniqueness of human beings. Both overlapping groupings provide papers based on often original contributions to psychoanalysis over many years of teaching, supervision, writing and immersion in psychoanalysis which, true to the tradition, are characterized by a willingness to be open to the uncertainty special to listening in to unconscious representation, to waiting, to perceiving each encounter as a new creative experience for both analyst and patient.

[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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