Object Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis is a collection of Kernberg's papers published or presented during the period from 1966 to 1975, with some new material included as well. While these papers cover a diverse array of psychoanalytic topics, the book's title aptly conveys their unifying theme. Kernberg's aim in this group of papers is to elucidate his own version of psychoanalytic object relations theory, and to demonstrate that this theory may be employed to illuminate a wide range of clinical issues, such as the treatment of borderline conditions, the classification of character pathology, the analysis of love relations, and the study of group processes. . . . There is little doubt that Kernberg's books are destined to become modern psychoanalytic classics. They should be required reading for all students and practitioners of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, especially those who wish to treat severely disturbed patients.
Kernberg is nonpareil in the methodical and systematic nature of his approach. He is always clear and explicit, distinguishes data from inference and speculation from observation, and addresses himself to issues of agreement and validation. It is this scrupulous lucidity of presentation that makes him as impossible to ignore—even when one thinks him wrong—as he is pleasurable to read. . . . Object-Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis is a must for all psychoanalysts who are concerned with current issues of psychoanalytic theory and technique.
Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., F.A.P.A., is associate chariman and medical director of The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division, and professor of psychiatry at the Cornell University Medical College.