Stanley Ruszczynski's 'Psychoanlaytic Psychotherapy in the Independent Tradition' – Review by Margaret Tonnesman

Edited by Sue Johnson and Stanley Ruszczynski, Karnac Books, London, 1999, pp 188, £19.95

This book is a collection of papers to which seven senior members of the British Association of Psychotherapists have contributed. Each essay discusses a problem or impasse the author has encountered in the course of her clinical work with mainly borderline and severely traumatised patients. In this context the writers have all chosen those psychoanalytic concepts, mainly from the Independent psychoanalytic theories but also when appropriate those from Kleinian, Post-Kleinian, Contemporary Freudian and American contributions, that they found useful for the understanding of their patients’ often painful psychic states they have brought to therapy. The implications for the transference and countertransference as they have evolved during the treatment process and their technical handling of them are discussed.

The British Independent tradition refers to an orientation of those psychoanalysts who do not belong to a school whose members share selected basic assumptions of psychoanalytic theory. This book is indeed in the best Independent Tradition, since it provides a space in which all authors have independently discussed creatively and sometimes critically those concepts that have appeared to them most relevant when giving meaning to a clinical problem they have been confronted with in their work.

Margaret Tonnesmann