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Gordon, R. (1975). Khan, M. Masud R. The privacy of the self. London, The Hogarth Press, 1974. Pp. 339. £5.00.. J. Anal. Psychol., 20(2):233-235.
(1975). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 20(2):233-235
Khan, M. Masud R. The privacy of the self. London, The Hogarth Press, 1974. Pp. 339. £5.00.
Review by: Rosemary Gordon
The title of this book elegantly embodies Masud Khan's primary concerns and convictions, born, as they seem to be, out of personal history, clinical sensibility, temperamental disposition—and struggle. They emerge in the course of these papers as ever more clear and urgent themes. The preface spells them out in greater detail:
Psychoanalysis is an extremely private discipline of sensibility and skill. The practice of psychoanalysis multiplies this privacy into a specialized relationship between two persons, who through the very nature of their exclusivity with each other change each other.
Nearly all the papers in this book can be regarded as a working-towards, a working-out and a working-through of his approach to one's self and to the other's self. (It seems to me that in his recognizing, valuing and ultimate commitment to ‘privacy’ and to ‘exclusivity’ Masud Khan takes a stand and strikes a blow at promiscuity, indiscriminateness and intrusiveness, whether this marks the various fashionable Encounter movements on the one hand or the various health and social services on the other. For, in the case of the former, privacy and exclusivity are sacrificed in the service of attempted short-cuts to identity; while in the latter the attempt at ‘cure’ seems to entitle whole teams of ‘helpers’ to extract, to dissect and then to interchange a person's secrets, feelings, emotions and fantasies.)
Khan's book is divided into ‘Theoretical papers’ and ‘clinical papers’, all of them written between 1960 and 1972.
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