Authenticity in the Psychoanalytic Encounter brings together Irma Brenman Pick’s original contributions to psychoanalytic technique. Working within the Kleinian tradition, she produces vivid clinical narratives that succeed in shedding a humane light on the struggles that patients – and, indeed, all of us – face in recognising, in an authentic way, our need for, and the contribution of, others in our lives.
Brenman Pick is interested in the infantile antecedents of conflict in her patients, and the book demonstrates the attention needed to sense how these may be present in the patient’s clinical material. This involves an ability to understand the complex and sophisticated unconscious phantasies that are alive in the patient’s mind. She combines this with a creative clinical imagination that allows her to address these expertly in the here-and-now of the analytic encounter. A particular feature of this is the way Brenman Pick uses the analyst’s countertransference to bring in ways in which the struggle over authenticity also extends to the analyst. The focus on authenticity runs through the book and brings an interesting and original perspective to the topics discussed, which include adolescence, sexual identity, stealing and its relationship to the acknowledgement of dependency, the experience of uncertainty, concern for the object, destructiveness, creativity and the striving towards integration.
These contributions will prove invaluable to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals interested in deepening their understanding of the complex relationships that can arise in the consulting room.
Irma Brenman Pick is an internationally renowned Distinguished Fellow, senior Supervising and Training Analyst, and past President of the British Psychoanalytic Society. She trained as a Child Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic in London, and as an Adult and a Child Psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.