Containing Anxiety in Institutions: Selected Essays

Menzies Lyth, I. 1988. Free Association Books.

Isabel Menzies Lyth expounds her theory of social structures as forms of defence; ways of avoiding experiences of anxiety, guilt and doubt. A psychoanalyst in the tradition of Klein and Bion, these writings span more than thirty years of research. In one significant paper, she argues that the organisation of the nursing profession has failed to contain the high levels of anxiety and stress that nurses experience, instead focusing on practical measures to enhance recruitment and stem job wastage. This is a controversial collection, which makes available to a wider public an important part of the research tradition of the Tavistock.