Being Alive: Building on the Work of Anne Alvarez

Edited by Judith Edwards.
ISBN 1 58391 131 6

Anne Alvarez is an analyst who follows the ideas of Melanie
Klein and who has inspired a generation of psychotherapists working
with autistic and disturbed children.

Such children are often withdrawn and remote. Alvarez refuses to
accept that behavioural modification is all that can be offered to
these children and insists on connecting with them
psychotherapeutically. She pursues the idea that the analyst must
be “live company” for these children.

In this collection of essays her colleagues reflect on her
contribution. It opens with a review of Alvarez’s most important
work Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline,
Deprived and Abused Children
(Routledge, 1992) in which she
documented her 30 years of therapeutic work with children. The book
confirmed her place as the leading exponent of psychoanalytic work
with autistic children.

The first half of the book is mainly theoretical. The second half
provides a discussion of clinical issues. These essays, which offer
complex discussions of psychoanalysis, cannot be recommended for
the general reader. But for those with a psychoanalytic background
who want to update themselves about advances in this most
challenging aspect of psychoanalytic theory this book will be a

Oliver Russell is a consultant psychiatrist.

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