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Independent Women in British Psychoanalysis: Creativity and Authenticity at Work
Edited by Elizabeth Wolf and Barbie Antonis
Routledge / Softcover / Aug 2023
9781032279992 (ISBN-10: 1032279990)
Psychoanalysis / Women's Issues
reg price: $56.50 our price: $ 53.68
208 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Independent Women in British Psychoanalysis celebrates the lives and work of female psychoanalysts whose significant contributions to the Independent Tradition have hitherto been overshadowed by their male counterparts.

The contributors in this volume look at seven female psychoanalysts who broke new ground with their contributions to theory and practice: Ella Freemen Sharpe, Marjorie Brierley, Paula Heimann, Marion Milner, Enid Balint, Nina Coltart and Pearl King. The chapters tell the individual stories of these psychoanalysts alongside their theories, showing how their personal lives embody and illustrate the essential universal developmental task of becoming oneself and finding one’s own voice. The themes across the chapters include infant and child development with (m)other, trauma, constructive use of aggression, creativity, a theory of clinical technique, and independence of mind in a social world.

This book will be of interest and relevance to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, group analysts and historians of psychoanalysis, as well as those interested in feminism and women’s position in society.


"This is a deeply inspiring book on the writings of the pioneer women psychoanalysts who were to become part of the Independent Tradition in the British Psychoanalytical Society. While emphasizing the centrality of the interpretation of the transference and countertransference in the analytic encounter, the original work of these women psychoanalysts highlighted the role of emotions, of playfulness and creativity, of receptivity and tolerance, as well as the experience of illusion and disillusionment in the unique encounter between analysts and their patients. The chapters are beautifully written and a joy to read."

Rosine Perelberg, British Psychoanalytical Society.

"This volume brings together papers that focus on a group of British women analysts who, following the Controversial Discussions, were aligned with the Independent group within the British Psychoanalytical Society. The importance of their clinical and theoretical contributions is widely acknowledged. They insisted on claiming the right to their own voices, and their works often embody a distinctive vocabularies and styles of writing. For many readers they may provide creative openings for further psychoanalytic thought."

Nellie L. Thompson, IPA Committee on the History of Psychoanalysis.

"The focus of this remarkable book is an extraordinary series of women psychoanalysts whose lives and work span the 20th century. Individually they are fascinating; together, they show historically how women analysts — some still not well known — have been at the heart of Independent psychoanalysis in Britain. Elizabeth Wolf and Barbie Antonis set this story in the context of their own experience, giving the book a personal feel as well. This is a splendid achievement, full of both information and feeling."

Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society.

Table of Contents:

Part I Setting the Scene

Introduction: On Becoming

Elizabeth Wolf and Barbie Antonis

1. The Core Question: ‘What is mind?’

Joan Raphael-Leff

2. Bloomsbury and the early evolution of British psychoanalysis

Jonathan Sklar

Part II Independent Women

3. Ella Sharpe: Being Independent, following Freud

Ken Robinson

4. The Exceptional contributions of Marjory Brierley: affects, mediation and countertransference

Jan Abram

5. Paula Heimann: Becoming Independent

Emily Alster

6. Marion Milner: The Pliable Self

Maia Kirchkheli

7. Doing things differently: Pearl King's independent contribution

Ken Robinson

8. Nina Coltart's Colourful ways of Listening

Paola Somaini

9. Enid Balint’s imaginative perception: the creation of mutuality in the consulting room

Elizabeth Wolf & Barbie Antonis

About the Editors:

Elizabeth Wolf is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society and works full-time in psychoanalytic private practice.

Barbie Antonis is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, teaches at the British Society and is co-Chair of the Winnicott Trust.

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