Michael Balint: Object Relations, Pure and Applied, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Michael Balint

Object Relations, Pure and Applied, 1st Edition

By Andrew Elder, Robert Gosling, Harold Stewart


160 pages

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pub: 1996-08-08
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Whilst Michael Balint's applied work is widely known, many of his theoretical contributions have been incorporated into everyday analysis without due recognition of their source. In this account of his thinking, Harold Stewart evaluates the extent of Balint's contribution to psychoanalysis and firmly re-establishes his place within the development of Object Relations theory.

The first section examines Balint's theories of human psychological development, defining such concepts as primary love, ocnophilia and philobatia, the basic fault and the three areas of the mind. The author places Balint's understanding of the analyst's influence and technique in the context of his relationship with Sandor Ferenczi, his analyst and mentor.

The second section of this work looks at how the "Balint Group" has contributed to the assessment and understanding of emotional problems in various areas, including general practice, marital work and psychosexual medicine. A charismatic teacher, Balint's method of work with General Practitioners has become an established worldwide institution.

Features of this work, including the use of countertransference and the affective response of the doctor are vividly described here by two General Practitioners, Andrew Elder and Robert Gosling.

Michael Balint: Object Relations, Pure and Applied brings alive Balint's teaching and practice and demonstrates the relevance of his theories to many of the problematic issues in current analytic practice.


"I would commend Harold Stewart's book as a good introduction to Balint's thinking and development. There is also a useful biographical sketch and bibilography." - Oxford Psychotherapy Society Bulletin

"Provides a stimulating and admirably clear account of Michael Balint's contribution to psychoanalysis and applied psychoanlaysis as well as painting an absorbing picture of Balint himself." - British Journal of Psychotherapy

Table of Contents

Preface. Biographical Sketch. Introduction. Part I: Psychoanalysis. Primary Love and Psychoanalytic Technique (1952). Problems of Human Pleasure and Behaviour (1956). Thrills and Regressions (1959). The Basic Fault (1968). A Theory of Trauma and Psychoanalytic Education. Critiques and Further Developments. Part II: Applied Psychoanalysis. Gosling, The General Practitioner Training Scheme. Gosling, GP Training and Psychoanalysis. Elder, Moments of Change. Michael Balint: a Select Bibliography.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health