Claude Steiner, Emotional Activist : The Life and Work of Claude Michel Steiner book cover
1st Edition

Claude Steiner, Emotional Activist
The Life and Work of Claude Michel Steiner

Edited By

Keith Tudor

ISBN 9780367188818
Published February 28, 2020 by Routledge
284 Pages

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USD $44.95

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Book Description

This book describes the work and life of Claude Michel Steiner, a close colleague and friend of Eric Berne, the founder of transactional analysis. Steiner was an early and influential transactional analyst, an exponent of radical psychiatry, and the founder of emotional literacy. Steiner also contributed a number of theories and concepts to the psychological literature.

The book comprises edited excerpts from his unpublished autobiography, "Confessions of a Psychomechanic", alongside commentaries and critical essays from colleagues on his major contributions to the fields of psychology, transactional analysis, radical therapy, and emotional literacy. Topics covered include script theory and the theory of strokes, recognition hunger, radical therapy, and the concept of power, and emotional literacy and love. In assessing Steiner’s various contributions, the book also identifies central themes in his work and life and considers the autobiographical nature of theory.

This unique collection demonstrates not only the range of Steiner’s insights but also his importance to the wider field and will be essential reading for practitioners and trainees alike.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Mimi Doohan (née Steiner)

Introduction by Keith Tudor

Uno Identifying the legacy

Chapter 1 Claude Michel Steiner: the man and his work by Keith Tudor

Chapter 2 Claude Michel Steiner: an annotated bibliography compiled by Keith Tudor

Dos Scripts

Chapter 3 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on script byClaude Steiner

Chapter 4 Attribution and alienation: reflections on Claude Steiner’s script theory by Bill Cornell

Tres Strokes

Chapter 5 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on strokes by Claude Steiner

Chapter 6 On strokes by Deepak Dhananjaya

Cuatro Radical psychiatry

Chapter 7 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on radical psychiatry by Claude Steiner

Chapter 8 Radical therapy: from the first decade onwards by Becky Jenkins, Ellen Morrison, and Robert Schwebel

Chapter 9 Radical therapy: praxis in the fifth decade by Luigi (Gino) Althöfer and V. Riesenfeld by Cinco Power

Chapter 10 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on power by Claude Steiner

Chapter 11 On power by Luigi (Gino) Althöfer and Keith Tudor

Seis Emotional literacy

Chapter 12 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on emotional literacy by Claude Steiner

Chapter 13 On emotional literacy by Hartmut Oberdieck

Siete Love

Chapter 14 Confessions of a psychomechanic – excerpts on love and sex by Claude Steiner

Chapter 15 "Love is the answer" by Karen Minikin

Ocho Reflecting on the legacy

Chapter 16 More from a psychomechanic – on games by Claude Steiner with Keith Tudor

Chapter 17 Claude Michel Steiner: death, life, and legacy by Keith Tudor


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Keith Tudor is a Certified Transactional Analyst and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, accredited by the International Transactional Analysis Association. He has been involved in transactional analysis for over 30 years and is the author of some 80 publications on the subject, including three books.


"From the first pages of this book, I felt moved by the honest self-biography of Claude Steiner, put together in a beautifully co-creative edition by Keith Tudor, who himself contributes a number of chapters and also integrates chapters written by other colleagues. Some of the contributors review and critique different aspects of Claude’s contributions to transactional analysis, while others share their own experiences of Claude´s passionate interest for radical psychiatry, which inspired his life and work. I found this book very interesting, being eager to continue reading till the end. Through this book readers will also learn about and understand the influence that Claude had, not least in the evolution of transactional analysis in Latin America – he himself was fluent in Spanish and able to speak like a native, and, indeed, most of his books and many of his articles have been translated into Spanish. It is very interesting to understand how the life story of famous authors in psychology influenced their theories, either consciously or unconsciously. For Claude, beyond his own family history, the influence of Eric Berne as his mentor was decisive in his life, as well as the sociopolitical context of the San Francisco Bay area in the 1960s. This is an extraordinary book; one that provides the background to understanding the life and work of a great man, as well as the transgenerational script of transactional analysis itself, through at least three generations." --Gloria Noriega, Winner of the Eric Berne Memorial Award 2008, Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, Mexico City, Mexico

"My gratitude to Keith for bringing together this excellent volume. Claude had a rare ability to talk to many different audiences while never compromising his essential political values. Relating the different pieces of his legacy to the varied voices collected here gives us a portrait of Claude infused with his commitment to cooperation and his talent for relationship." --Beth Roy, San Francisco, USA

"I am excited that Keith Tudor has invested such a huge amount of time and energy to put this great book together to make the challenging ideas of the emotional activist Claude Steiner about power, love, and emotional literacy known to a broader audience. The theory and practice of emotional literacy have had a great positive influence on my professional life as a psychotherapist working with couples and groups as well as on my personal relationships. Keith Tudor’s book will provide a stimulus for engagement with and intensive discussion concerning these important concepts and Claude Steiner’s life and work." --Anne Kohlhaas-Reith, Medical Doctor, Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, Waldkirch, Germany

"Structurally, this work is fascinating. There are thematic seams that thicken and then narrow throughout the book, and Steiner’s voice is (unexpectedly) intensified through the interpolations of other voices. The best way to see one colour is to contrast it with others, and in a sense, that is what the editor has achieved here. The biographical (and autobiographical) material on Steiner is obviously part of a mosaic that combines with his ideas and perspectives. This approach works exceptionally well. Like all mosaics, up close it can appear fragmented, but there is a definite method in the organisation of those fragments, and that shines through clearly. This is a daring piece of work, and the most evocative book of someone’s life I have read for some time. Professor Keith Tudor and his fellow-travellers have served up an extraordinary rendition of an even more extraordinary individual. Claude Steiner features prominently in this book, both directly in his own words, and refracted through the recollections of those who encountered this unique individual.  The enormously diverse perspectives that are offered on Steiner’s life and work achieve – through skilful editorial alchemy – a lasting impression of an author, activist, psychiatrist, and above all, someone who ceaselessly explored what it meant to be all too human." --Professor Paul Moon, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

"While providing us with many authors’ plentiful reviews of his work in transactional analysis, radical therapy, emotional literacy, power, and other important areas of human behavior, what is extraordinary about this book is how my colleague Claude, following his dictum of "no lies", candidly and unabashedly reveals to the reader, his "Confessions of a Psychomechanic" in many intimate aspects of his life. Not only does the reader get excellent summaries of Claude’s timeless contributions from various authors, but also interspersed among them are autobiographical details, such as his death with dignity, that humanize both him and his legacy." --Leonard Campos, PhD, Sacramento, USA