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Nichols, B. (2005). Casement, Ann. (ED). Who Owns Psychoanalysis? London: Karnac Books, 2004. Pp. 396. Pbk. £19.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(4):541-543.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(4):541-543

Casement, Ann. (ED). Who Owns Psychoanalysis? London: Karnac Books, 2004. Pp. 396. Pbk. £19.99.

Review by:
Brent Nichols

It would be hard to imagine a more diverse and erudite collection of responses to the same question Who Owns Psychoanalysis? than those found in the like-titled book compiled by Ann Casement. Eighteen responding writers reveal a diversity of thought, professional background and geographic origin. Contributers wrangle and theorize into the depths of this question and its wider implications for the field through pieces falling into four subsections of Academic, History, Politics and Science. These subgroupings enable readers to explore in depth the major realms in which this central question is manifested, placing complementary responses in provoking juxtaposition.

Behind the writing of this book, and in fact the very posing of the question ‘Who Owns Psychoanalysis?’ stands the unfortunate and perhaps innately fractured community of psychoananlysis. As is well known, Freud struggled to maintain a controlling influence on his followers by alternatively banishing some and promoting others under the belief that the preservation of his vision for the field was supreme, and superseded internal debate. Through provocative and challenging responses, accomplished psychoanalysts and scholars of psychoanalysis reflect and debate on the state of the field, the history of internal debate and possible future directions.

Within the Academic and Political sections writers explore the debate begun in Freud's time concerning the ‘right’ to describe oneself as a psychoanalyst and the specific evolution of this issue in Britain, the United States, Europe and South America.

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