Using Fairbairn

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(2), 184–185. Reviews the book, The Treatment of the Borderline Patient: Applying Fairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical Setting by David P. Celani (1993). This book is addressed to clinicians who are unfamiliar with the work of Fairbairn and who are searching for a practicable model of once-weekly therapy for borderline personality disorder (BPD). The book sets out first to show that Fairbairn's model of endopsychic structure uniquely illuminates BPD phenomena. Although the early chapter titles and subheadings suggest a logically structured demonstration, the text would have benefited from better editing. The reader trips over repetitions, intrusions, contradictions, delayed clarifications, loosely related clinical illustrations, and even grammatical errors. Fairbairn's own prose, quaintly ceremonious but orderly and lucid, presents his ideas more efficiently. This book's effectiveness is vitiated by problems in language, organization, and scholarship. Its virtues are that it enthusiastically calls attention to Fairbairn's highly important theory and that it presents a resourceful, seasoned, and humane clinician's workhoned method for treating BPD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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