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Rhode, M. (2015). Psychoanalytic technique and theory: taking the transference. J. Child Psychother., 41(1):98-101.

(2015). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 41(1):98-101

Psychoanalytic technique and theory: taking the transference

Maria Rhode

This is Judith Mitrani’s third volume of collected papers. It follows A Framework for the Imaginary (originally published in 1996 by Jason Aronson and re-issued by Karnac in 2008) and Ordinary People and Extra-ordinary Protections: A Post-Kleinian Approach to the Treatment of Primitive Mental States (Routledge/New Library of Psychoanalysis, 2001). In addition, together with her husband Theodore Mitrani, she has edited Encounters with Autistic States: A Memorial Tribute to Frances Tustin (Jason Aronson, 1997) as well as Frances Tustin Today (New Library of Psychoanalysis, in press).

As one might infer from the titles of these books, Mitrani’s main area of interest concerns primitive mental states and their vicissitudes in ‘ordinary people’. Perhaps the best known of her early papers (Mitrani, 1993) concerned the psychoanalytic treatment of psychogenic asthma. In it she introduced the term ‘unmentalised experience’ and in much of her subsequent writing she has examined in detail the processes involved in making unmentalised experience – or, as she would say now, ‘happenings’ – possible to think about and to integrate.

Mitrani’s first analysis was with a ‘classical’ analyst, whose encouragement to find her own voice she acknowledges in Ordinary People and Extra-Ordinary Protections. Her second analyst was one of the group re-analysed by Bion when he moved to Los Angeles and similarly encouraged her to think in her own way.

[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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