3 thoughts on “If you could recommend only one essay, paper or book about psychodynamics/psychotherapy/psychoanalysis what would it be and why?

  1. Containing Anxiety in Institutions by Isabel Menzies Lyth. Because it was the first book that introduced me to Psychodynamic thinking applied to organisations. Isabel was a consultant to the Cotswold Community – a therapeutic community for emotionally disturbed boys. When i started work there she had moved on and was replaced by Eric Miller. The Cotswold had a longstanding relationship with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations so the psychodynamic approach was embedded in the culture. Many excellent and classic papers in her book including,

    The Functioning of Social Systems as a Defence Against Anxiety

    Staff Support Systems: Task and Anti-Task in Adolescent Institutions

    The Development of the Self in Children in Institutions

  2. Oh my goodness, another impossible request! Only one? How could I recommend only one?
    Ok, if I’m asked by someone (as I often am) to recommend a book to introduce them to psychodynamic thinking, I usually mention Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of the Personality by Margot Waddell, because it’s a beautifully written introduction to a psychoanalytic view of human development. Waddell weaves literature and poetry into her discussions, and her insights are both simple and profound.
    As I’m only allowed to mention one book, I won’t include another favourite, Psychoanalytic Insight and Relationships by Isca Salzberger-Wittenberg which is another lovely introductory text that yields more and more on re-reading.

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