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Chiţu, A. (2016). Psychoanalytic Book Review: Fear, the Dark Shadow from Our Lives, by Salman Akhtar. Rom. J. Psychoanal., 9(2):253-271.

(2016). Romanian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 9(2):253-271

Psychoanalytic Book Review: Fear, the Dark Shadow from Our Lives, by Salman Akhtar

Andreea Chiţu

Ever since I first saw it on the shelf of the small improvised bookstore at the Conference for Relational Psychoanalysis in Rome this year, I felt a strong desire to go through it. I thought at that time: what did psychoanalysts write and conceptualize regarding a topic that is found so often both clinically and in our general lives? So difficult and complex? I was very drawn by the title of the book, that seemed so simple but at the same time so compact and expressive: fear is present in our lives like a shadow, appears only in certain “enabling” situations and in any moment during our lifetime. We cannot get rid of it, we can only integrate it, find its meaning and significance when it appears, when one feels it, lives it.

I started examining right off the reel the contents of the book and now, at the end of the year, I can present it to others, and I can only hope that I could incite and provoke others to read it too. It is a stimulating book-collection that helps structure both ideas and concepts conveyed in the past, as well as others that are actual, contemporaneous, on a subject so present and so ubiquitous in every person's life. What I appreciated even more was the fact that I didn't only receive highly pleasant and agreeable theoretic information, but also something even more valuable, clinical vignettes, practical problems from the effective analytic and therapeutic process, suggestions of approach and attempts to treat various levels of fears, anxieties and menaces experienced by various patients. This work can also be used as a starting point for future themes and discussions at workshops in the field.

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