The trials and tribulations of teaching are intimately connected with those of learning, and indeed have parallels with psychoanalysis in so far as this may in itself be considered a specialised mode of education. The variety of approaches recounted in this volume have been devised and refined over time and demonstrate the imaginative commitment and struggles of practitioners.
Donald Meltzer’s hopes for the survival of psychoanalysis rested not on schools and didacticism but on the capacity of the next generation to learn from their own experience with the aid of their internal teachers.
His writings are often said to be ‘difficult’ by students without personal experience of his teaching. Yet Meltzer himself said his motto was ‘simplicity’ and he never tried to be obscurantist, but concentrated increasingly on how to make complex matters ‘simple’, relevant, and digestible.
This book shows how this aspiration to a complex simplicity can be conveyed by those who have absorbed it. Its relevance therefore goes beyond the conceptual framework of an individual analyst, and sheds new light on the task of enabling the psychoanalytic attitude in both students and teachers.