The "hidden selves" that Masud Khan reveals to us in this third volume of his psychoanalytic writings are to be understood in two ways. Primarily, they are those aspects of the self which are inherent in, but unsuspected by, the individual concerned, and which need to be identified if that individual is to achieve a full and healthy self-awareness. More broadly, they are the ingredients of human nature which may not be evident on the surface but which can be brought out through literature or art, for example, or through the insights gained in psychoanalysis.
In analysis, and over a period of time, both analyst and patient discover parts of their personality that were unknown to each other at the start. The person is not just a single 'self' but a collage of hidden selves; and one of the goals of psychoanalysis is to find out how this collage functions for the individual concerned - whether through symptomatology or through introspection. The close relationship of patient and analyst, the gradual finding of one's self through the other, was elucidated by the author in two earlier books, The Privacy of the Self and Alienation in Perversions. In this third book Masud Khan offers further evidence, mostly in the form of some remarkable case histories, of the rewards that can be achieved, by both parties, through the mutual endeavors of the psychoanalytic process.