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The Writings of Professor Robert M. Young

Mental Space

by Robert M. Young



| Contents | Preface | Acknowledgements | Chapter: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Bibliography |


Dr. Sydney Klein helped me to find the space in the internal world to think about these matters and inspired me to do so with as little jargon as can be managed. Dr. Colin James helped, too, and drew my attention to the significance of Winnicott's ideas on mental space. Martin Stanton created the academic space to explore my ideas and supported and encouraged the early stages of my research and writing. Bob Hinshelwood has been my pupil, teacher, supervisor, mentor and colleague throughout my clinical training and in a number of joint projects where his enabling ways have been indispensable. He has also provided comments on drafts of a number of chapters and was then characteristically generous enough to give me the benefit of a meticulous critique of the whole revised manuscript, including comments on practically every page. Joe Berke has provided ongoing collegial and personal succour and — in his writings and by virtue of his sardonic humour — has reminded me again and again that I must give due weight to people's malicious, destructive side.

A reading group for many years encouraged all of its members to work out their own ideas, no matter how inchoate they seemed at first. Thanks to Barry Richards (who set its course during that period), Karl Figlio (an inspiration to scholars), Margot Waddell (who introduced me to Kleinian ideas and, in particular, the idea that all knowledge is mediated through the mother's body), Les Levidow (whose singleness of purpose is exemplary) and Paul Hoggett (whose writing moves me). Victor Wolfenstein has provided sharp criticisms of certain chapters and passages and has commented critically on the extent to which my Kleinian perspective contradicts his conception of Marxist dialectic. This has helped me to locate my own position philosophically. He has done this while paying compliments across our disagreements which have been very sustaining. Elizabeth Bott Spillius was kind enough to make extensive — sometimes highly appreciative and sometimes highly critical — and very detailed comments on essays on psychotic anxieties and on projective identification which have been sources for this text. I have pondered her comments and taken account of all which did not violate my own sense of what I am about.

Jeanne Magagna has encouraged me to believe that my psychoanalytic ideas may be of interest to clinicians and has made a number of useful suggestions about the literature, as well as supportive comments on the manuscript. I have benefited from Arthur Hyatt Williams' supervision of my clinical work in ways which I believe suffuse my writing, and he has also made helpful suggestions about specific chapters. I have also benefited from the supervision of Judith Jackson, Alex Tarnopolsky and Renata LiCausi, all of whom also encouraged my sense of professional identity as a psychotherapist. Ann Scott has helped considerably with the ideas, editorially and with the problem of keeping going.

A number of friends and colleagues provided comments and criticisms on all or part of an earlier draft of the book, and I thank them for their support and candour: Isabel Menzies Lyth, Eric Rayner, Dilys Daws, Barry Richards, Eric Rhode, Paul Gordon, Margot Waddell, David Armstrong, Nicola Worledge, Kirsty Hall, Jane Kitto. I have reflected on all of their suggestions and have followed most of them, but I have sometimes found no alternative to what I'd originally tried to capture, for fear of losing the flavour of an idea. All of those who have given help will, I trust, appreciate that form of stubborn attempt to find my own voice, even at the expense of some inelegances. I accept that I may have got some things wrong, even badly wrong. If that turns out to be so, in spite of all my efforts to be accurate and to take good advice, I will console myself with the thought that my attempts to achieve clarity for myself and for others will have served a worthwhile purpose. Truth emerges more readily from error than from mere confusion.

I am grateful to Jane and to Colin Brady for providing lists of errors in the first printed edition. Never proofread your own work; never forget that spell-checking only checks that it is a word, not necessarily the work you intended.

I also wish to thank my patients and my students, with whom I seek to learn from shared experience.

The Human Nature Review
Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

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