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Hamilton's writing style is clear and eloquent, his discussion of the relevant topics is general enough to be meaningful to adherents of object relations theory, self psychology or ego psychology, and the entire book is permeated with numerous clinical anecdotes to facilitate application of psychodynamic theory in practice. The first section of the book begins with a discussion of the object, including a brief history of the evolution of the term within psychodynamic psychology, an explanation of the distinction between internal and external objects and the common failure of authors to make such a distinction in the psychodynamically psychological literature, a failure he manages to avoid throughout the volume. It moves on to a discussion of the self in the sense of an internal object related to the subject of experience in a fundamental way, and Kernberg's self-object (Hamilton finds occasion to make the important distinction between this and Kohut's deceptively similarly termed "selfobject" later in the book.) The first section ends with a discussion of the ego, including a thorough demonstration of the term's historically ambiguous use, particularly its conflation with modern concepts of the self, after which Hamilton precisely defines the term for use throughout the volume. The second section begins with a review of Mahler's separation-individuation theory of development and is followed by a discussion of psychological mechanisms. Hamilton's inventory of mechanisms is considerably smaller than what has been discussed in the literature, why this is so is unclear. I suspect he may consider some of these other unmentioned mechanisms to be special cases or confluences of simpler mechanisms that he does mention, or that he omitted some mechanisms in an effort to achieve his espoused goal of maintaining a general perspective that will be meaningful to adherents of all psychodynamic paradigms, although in any case an explanation of this dissonance would have been kind. The third section discusses various psychological disorders within the context of object relations and relates them to the various phases of the separation-individuation process. As is common in the psychodynamic literature, Hamilton focuses especially upon the Cluster B disorders within Axis II of the DSM-IV, devoting a chapter each to the borderline and narcissistic disorders. He also discusses autism, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder (although he terms it, somewhat deceptively and archaically in my opinion, mania, and does not differentiate between various subtypes on the continuum, I suspect once again for the sake of generality and for brevity), neuroses and normal personalities. I would have been pleased to see more discussion on the Axis I disorders and the disorders of Clusters A and C of Axis II, but I also realize that this focus on schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and the Cluster B disorders is common, as the more general and firmly scientific psychodynamic theory began in psychoanalytic theory, which was historically concerned with treating neuroses. (On this subject of neuroses, Hamilton explicitly states his lack of desire to beat dead horses, especially at the cost of brevity.) Also, the Cluster B disorders are not usually effectively treated with pharmacotherapy alone, encouraging the psychodynamically psychotherapeutic community to focus much of their research on these disorders as opposed to others. The fourth section begins with a discussion of the elements of the relationship between patient and therapist outside of a technical context. Therein he reviews Bion's concept of the container and the contained and Winnicott's concepts of the holding environment and the good-enough mother and discusses their relevance both to the patient's past relationships and their relationship with the therapist, and afterward the central role of empathy within the formation and maintenance of the therapeutic alliance. Afterwards, the author discusses the tendency of patients with tenuous self-other boundaries (particularly psychotic patients) to alternate between a desire for closeness to the therapist due to a desire for object relatedness and a fear of closeness to the therapist due to a fear of loss of the self in the process, which he terms the need-fear dilemma, and the need for the therapist to therefore maintain an optimal emotional (and often, physical) distance from the patient at all times in order to maintain the therapeutic relationship, which he terms titrating the closeness. After this, Hamilton moves on to the technical elements of the therapeutic relationship, beginning by defining the therapist's overarching objective as encouraging the patient's growth by helping them to acquire psychological insight. Next he discusses the interventions of clarification, confrontation and interpretation. His definitions for these interventions are different than those that I have seen in other sources, and once again his inventory of terms is smaller than I have seen elsewhere. I suspect that this is a reflection of the ubiquitous ambiguity of terminology within the psychodynamic literature, but at the very least a discussion of the history of the terms' use within the field and a justification for the definitions at which he has arrived would have been useful, as in his discussion of the term "ego" at the beginning of the book. He continues by addressing acting out and practical matters related to the maintenance of the therapeutic framework like setting limits and confronting structure breaks. Next he discusses confronting negative transference, emphasizing the need for the therapist to maintain a good self-other state in the patient in order to use therapeutic techniques efficaciously. The chapter concludes with discussions of the benefits of juxtaposing good and bad object relations units, the importance of clarifying self-other boundaries when dealing with the frequently encountered mechanism of projective identification, and methods for maintaining the patient's self-esteem whilst simultaneously confronting grandiosity. Hamilton next discusses the countertransference, beginning with projective identification and its significance as a source of diagnostic information, in keeping with the modern trend of dismissing the classical notion of the countertransference as something that interferes with the analyst's impartiality and that is to be suppressed. Hamilton then reinvokes Bion's concept of the container and the contained to draw an analogy between the role of the parent and that of the therapist as a container of the patient's affects whose purpose is to modulate them and return them to the patient, therefore modifying their internal object relationships. Next he discusses common reactions within the countertransference, including boredom, devaluation, therapeutic zeal, the reenactment of victimizing relationships, anger and guilt. He ends the discussion by addressing the less frequently discussed positive reactions within the countertransference, such as curiosity, sexual attraction and pity. The next chapter discusses group dynamics within the context of object relations, beginning with a review of Bertalanffy's general systems theory, the extension of the concept of boundary clarification beyond patients to systems in general, and a review of Bion's basic assumption groups. Next he addresses splitting in groups and the tendency for subordinates to imitate the behavior of supervisors within the context of clinical practice. The chapter concludes with discussions of the group dynamics of families with schizophrenic and borderline patients. The fifth section begins by interpreting myths and folklore within the context of object relations. Hamilton then discusses the connection between the formation and maintenance of healthy object relationships and the ability to perceive reality accurately (as ever we can, but he expressly avoids philosophical digression.) The volume concludes with an elaborate history of the evolution of psychodynamic psychology. In conclusion, although I would have preferred to see larger, more conventional inventories of psychological mechanisms, disorders and interventions, and to have seen the unusual definitions of the enumerated interventions appropriately justified, this book is a well-written, relatively paradigmatically neutral introduction to psychodynamic psychology with plenty of clinical examples and an admirable emphasis on the historical development of psychodynamic theory. I would recommend this book to psychiatric residents, graduate and undergraduate students and laypersons seeking to orient themselves within the psychodynamic literature.