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Roth, N. (1988). The Matrix of the Mind: Thomas H. Ogden, M.D., Jason Aronson, Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, and London, 1986, xi + 270 pp., $25.00.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 16(1):127-128.

(1988). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 16(1):127-128

The Matrix of the Mind: Thomas H. Ogden, M.D., Jason Aronson, Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, and London, 1986, xi + 270 pp., $25.00.

Review by:
Nathan Roth, M.D.

This unusual book attempts to deal primarily with a group of concepts that have emerged from the work of the British school of psychoanalysis. The author says (p. 2), British object relations theory represents a diverse collection of contributions to the psychoanalytic discourse and has altered the character of the epistemologic problems presently accessible for psychoanalytic consideration. In this volume several pivotal ideas emerging from the work of the British school will be discussed, primarily concepts introduced by Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, and in a more limited way, Ronald Fairbairn and Wilfred Bion. my aim is to clarify, critique and interpret, and in the process to generate new analytic understandings. This declaration of an attempt to study anew the significant issues of internal object relations grasps hold of one's interest and attention quickly, and the appetite is whetted. Whether the ensuing meal is more satisfying than the British found this subject to be, must be left to each reader to discover for himself. The British analysts were riven by the competing issues of Melanie Klein and Anna Freud, and this reviewer still finds the object relations area a very problematic one. Ogden deals with a number of topics that are undoubtedly of great importance and interest, but his exposition of them did not impress me greatly with its clarity. The writing is often turgid and highly complex, and I leave it to others to discover more in it than this reviewer could garner.

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