15 Psychoanalytic Theory Books Published in May 2017

#1 Class and Psychoanalysis: Landscapes of Inequality 


Does psychoanalysis have anything to say about the emotional landscapes of class? How can class-inclusive psychoanalytic projects, historic and contemporary, inform theory and practice? Class and psychoanalysis are unusual bedfellows, but this original book shows how much is to be gained by exploring their relationship. Joanna Ryan provides a comprehensively researched and challenging overview in which she holds the tension between the radical and progressive potential of psychoanalysis, in its unique understandings of the unconscious, with its status as a mainly expensive and exclusive profession.






#2 The Fictions of Dreams: Dreams, Literature, and Writing


The Fictions of Dreams explores the close connection between the narrative nature of dreams and the narrative devices employed in literature and creative writing. The book is unique in its confluential approach, linking the fictions of dreams with literary fictions and case studies which illuminate the centrality of dream analysis in therapeutic work.

Dreams and literature are closely related. The dream’s essence lies in its narrative facility. Dreams are autobiographical fictions which tell the story of the dreamer’s life history, her insertion in transgenerational family themes, and her ethnic and cultural identity. In that sense dreams are psycho-social depositories and makers, not unlike what can be found in world literature: the recreation of interiority and historicity of a given time period.

The interconnected worlds of dreaming and fiction writing tend to employ the same narrative devices: the memorial mode (Patrick Modiano), multi-temporality (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), poeisis (Kafka, Ted Hughes, Colm Toibin), historical consciousness (Irene Némirowsky), and ‘infinite connectivity’ (Patrick White).

The poetry of dreams and world literature also share the exposition of human motivation, as can be seen in the complex interiority of dreams and fictional characters. Both dreams and literature bring to the fore that which is hidden but seeks expression, such as the conundrum of fear, the propensity for destructiveness, the search for love, the search for knowledge, the search for beauty, the ‘will to power’, and the search for the spiritual.

The theories employed are psychoanalysis, literary criticism, quantum physics, chaos theory, sleep research, the study of historical consciousness, theories of the ancient dreamers (Artemidorus, Aristotle), and theories of the social nature of dreaming. Case studies, actual dream fictions, will be used to illuminate the dream theories presented.

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#3 Group Analysis in the Land of Milk and Honey


Group Analysis in the Land of Milk and Honey is a collection of beautifully written clinical essays by group analysts in Israel - a society which suffers from chronic war and violence. Israeli group conductors share their experience and their special skills concerning the reflection of terror and existential anxiety in their group-analytic therapy groups.

The topics range from the influence of society on the individual, the nature of the "group", combined individual and group therapy, groups with mentally ill and elderly patients, and coping with aggressive patients and the self-destructive processes that are ubiquitous in a society threatened with extinction. These group analysts discuss breaking of boundaries, "democracy in action", leadership, paternalism and fanatic identifications. The special place of Shoah survivors and of Arab and Jewish conflict make this book unique. The book conveys both the trauma and the creativity of Israeli society.





#4 Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: A Model for Theory and Practice


In this book, Lewis Kirshner explains and illustrates the concept of intersubjectivity and its application to psychoanalysis. By drawing on findings from neuroscience, infant research, cognitive psychology, Lacanian theory, and philosophy, Kirshner argues that the analytic relationship is best understood as a dialogic exchange of signs between two subjects—a semiotic process. Both subjects bring to the interaction a history and a set of unconscious desires, which inflect their responses. In order to work most effectively with patients, analysts must attend closely to the actual content of the exchange, rather than focusing on imagined contents of the patient's mind. The current situation revives a history that is shaped by the analyst's participation.





#5 A Beholder's Share: Essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination


A Beholder's Share demonstrates how a sense of reality is evoked in the unpredictable space between imagination and adaptation. The world calls forth something in each of us—a beholder’s share—which in turn calls forth something in the world. Though usually viewed as opposites, imagination and reality make uneasy but necessary bedfellows. 

Part I of A Beholder’s Share shows how fantasy generates novelty by creating versions of what is already known, while imagination allows what seems familiar to be seen afresh. Goldman’s essays offer unexpected takes on common clinical encounters: clashes of belief, the search for generational dialogue, the awkward discomfort of feeling like a fake, the problem of how and when to end analysis, the strains of working with psychotic anxieties.

Part II, ‘Winnicott’s Living Legacy,’ illuminates Winnicott’s preoccupation with difficulties inherent in contact with reality. These chapters bring to life Winnicott’s personal struggle with an area of experience his own two analyses failed to touch, the tangled relationship with Masud Khan, his recognition of dissociation as "a queer kind of truth," and how Romantic poets shaped Winnicott’s view of what is felt as real. 

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#6 Death and Fallibility in the Psychoanalytic Encounter


Death and Fallibility in the Psychoanalytic Encounter considers psychoanalysis from a fresh perspective: the therapist’s mortality—in at least two senses of the word. That the therapist can die, and is also fallible, can be seen as necessary or even defining components of the therapeutic process. At every moment, the analyst's vulnerability and human limitations underlie the work, something rarely openly acknowledged.

Freud’s central insights continue to guide the range of all talking therapies, but they do so somewhat in the manner of a smudged ancestral map. That blur, or degree of confusion, invites new ways of reading. Ellen Pinsky reexamines fundamental principles underlying by-now-dusty terms such as "neutrality," "abstinence," "working through," and the peculiar expression "termination." Pinsky reconsiders—in some measure, hopes to restore—the most essential, humane, and useful components of the original psychoanalytic perspective, guided by the most productive threads in the discipline's still-evolving theory. Freud's most important contribution was arguably to discover (or invent) the psychoanalytic situation itself. This book reflects on central questions pertaining to that extraordinary discovery: What is the psychoanalytic situation? How does it work (and fail to work)? Why does it work? 

This book aims to articulate what is fundamental and what we can't do without—the psychoanalytic essence—while neither idealizing Freud nor devaluing his achievement. Historically, Freud has been misread, distorted, maligned or, at times, even dismissed. Pinsky reappraises his significance with respect to psychoanalytic writers who have extended, and amended, his thinking. Of particular interest are those psychoanalytic thinkers who, like Freud, are not only original thinkers but also great writers—including D. W. Winnicott and Hans Loewald. 





#7 Torture, Psychoanalysis and Human Rights


Torture, Psychoanalysis and Human Rights contributes to the development of that field of study called ‘psycho-social’ that is presently more and more committed to providing understanding of social phenomena, making use of the explicative perspective of psychoanalysis. The book seeks to develop a concise and integrated framework of understanding of torture as a socio-political phenomenon based on psychoanalytic thinking, through which different dimensions of the subject of study become more comprehensible.





#8 Metapsychology for Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Mind, World, and Self


Metapsychology for Contemporary Psychoanalysis is a complete revision of the theoretical underpinnings of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy. It seeks to replace the traditional drive–defence model of Freudian tradition with an information processing model of the mind. This book argues that the central human need is for self-knowledge, and that drives are best understood as means towards this end.

Richard Sembera begins with a close reading of Freud’s own metapsychological writings, isolating the many unresolved difficulties and inconsistencies which continue to burden psychoanalytical theory today. By returning to the actual observable clinical phenomena in the analytic situation, it is shown that an alternative interpretation is possible that eliminates the theoretical difficulties in question. In the analytic situation, Sembera argues that clinicians do not in fact see individuals struggling against the expression of biological drives, rather they observe individuals struggling to clarify their experience of themselves in the presence of the analyst and put this experience into words. When this process is formalized and expressed in theoretical terms, it is found to consist of three distinct aspects: objectification, imagination, and symbolization. This process as a whole—ascent towards the other, relationship with the other, disclosure of self in the light of the other—is termed the dialectical structure of the self. It is conceptualized as the main accomplishment of the core mental process, the process of contextualization.

This work is distinguished from other attempts at theoretical revision by its fundamental commitment to coherence and clarity as well as its determination to challenge accepted psychoanalytic dogma. It argues for the complete irrelevance of biology and neuroscience to the psychoanalytic enterprise and rejects the theory of drives in its entirety. Instead it affirms the centrality of the traumatic response to mental functioning, emphasises the social matrix in which drives are embedded, re-examines the concepts of free will, accountability, and responsibility, and concludes with an attempt to understand waking life as a creative product analogous to the lucid dream. 

Drawing on major psychoanalytic thinkers including Bollas and Benjamin, and current philosophy of mind, this book provides readers with a clear, updated model of metapsychology. Metapsychology for Contemporary Psychoanalysis will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, as well as philosophy scholars and anyone with an interest in the philosophy of psychoanalysis.





#9 Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide


Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide demonstrates that the concept of the unconscious is profoundly relevant for understanding the mind, psychic pain, and traumatic human suffering. Editors Paula L. Ellman and Nancy R. Goodman established this book to discover how symbolization takes place through the "finding of unconscious fantasy" in ways that mend the historic split between trauma and fantasy. Cases present the dramatic encounters between patient and therapist when confronting discovery of the unconscious in the presence of trauma and body pain, along with narrative.

Unconscious fantasy has a central role in both clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis. This volume is a guide to the workings of the dyad and the therapeutic action of "finding" unconscious meanings. Staying close to the clinical engagement of analyst and patient shows the transformative nature of the "finding" process as the dyad works with all aspects of the unconscious mind. Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide uses the immediacy of clinical material to show how trauma becomes known in the "here and now" of enactment processes and accompanies the more symbolized narratives of transference and countertransference. This book features contributions from a rich variety of theoretical traditions illustrating working models including Klein, Arlow, and Bion and from leaders in the fields of narrative, trauma, and psychosomatics. Whether working with narrative, trauma or body pain, unconscious fantasy may seem out of reach. Attending to the analyst/ patient process of finding the derivatives of unconscious fantasy offers a potent roadmap for the way psychoanalytic engagement uncovers deep layers of the mind.




#10 Psychosis and Near Psychosis: Ego Function, Symbol Structure, Treatment, 3rd Edition


The goal of psychotherapy as formulated in this revision of a classic text is to improve ego function of severely disturbed patients who are often hospitalized. This book shows why and how. It describes the psychotherapeutic techniques that aid patients to understand the meaning of the psychotic symbols so that they can experience reality and their emotions as separate entities. Medication effects and the neurobiology of psychotic and near psychotic patients are explained and evaluated in terms of specific ego dysfunction so that psychopharmacology may be targeted. With the first edition originally a recipient of the prestigious Heinz Hartmann Award, this valuable resource is a go-to guide for clinicians who treat patients suffering from crippling mental disorders.

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#11 A Psychoanalytic Exploration of Dante's The Divine Comedy


David Dean Brockman connects spirituality with psychoanalysis throughout this book as he looks at Dante’s early writings, his life story and his "polysemous" classical poem The Divine Comedy. Dante wanted to create a document that would educate the common man about his journey from brokenness to growth and a solid integration of body, self, and soul. This book draws the resemblance between Dante’s poem and the "journey" that patients experience in psychoanalytic therapy. It will be the first total treatment of Dante’s work in general, and The Divine Comedy in particular, using the psychoanalytic method.





#12 Death and the City: On Loss, Mourning, and Melancholia at Work


Death and the City provides an in-depth portrait of an organisation in a palliative state. It transports the analytic concepts of mourning and melancholia and of the death drive into the workplace, and brings this important, but under explored, stream of psychoanalytic thought to the fore as a means of interrogating and further understanding organisational life.

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#13 A Web of Sorrow: Mistrust, Jealousy, Lovelessness, Shamelessness, Regret, Hopelessness


Bringing together the experiences of mistrust, jealousy, lack of love, shamelessness, regret, and despair, this far-reaching book elucidates human sorrow in striking sociocultural and clinical details.

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#14 A Guide to the World of Dreams: An Integrative Approach to Dreamwork


In A Guide to the World of Dreams, Ole Vedfelt presents an in-depth look at dreams in psychotherapy, counselling and self-help, and offers an overview of current clinical knowledge and scientific research, including contemporary neuroscience. This book describes essential aspects of Jungian, psychoanalytic, existential, experiential and cognitive approaches to dreams and dreaming, and explores dreams in sleep laboratories, neuroscience and contemporary theories of dream cognition.

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#15 The Linked Self in Psychoanalysis: The Pioneering Work of Enrique Pichon Riviere


Enrique Pichon Riviere was a pioneering psychoanalyst, writing in Spanish in Argentina in the middle of the 20th century. He has never been translated into English, so his ideas are only known indirectly through the work of students and colleagues. His work has inspired not only the succeeding generations of Latin American analysts, but also spawned the fields of analytic family therapy and dynamic group work and organizational consultation. This book presents Pichon-Riviere’s groundbreaking work in English for the first time. The main papers represent his theory of psychoanalysis including the link (el vinculo), spiral process, the theory of unifying illness, the action of interpretation, and the role and capacity of working in groups and in the family group.

The book has three sections. In the first, Roberto Losso and Lea S. de Setton narrate Pichon Rivière’s biography relating elements of his life to his subsequent work. In the second part, the editors present several original texts of Pichon Rivière that demonstrate his multiplicity of interests, covering classic psychiatry, dynamic psychiatry, psychoanalysis, as well as group psychotherapy, family and couple psychotherapy, social psychology, and applied psychoanalysis. These writings testify to Pichon Rivière as an original thinker, years ahead of his time.

In the third part, several commentators discuss Pichon Rivière’s and clinical practice. These include Roberto Losso’s contribution, a panorama of Pichon’s ideas alongside his personal experience as Pichon’s student. Rosa Jaitin describes the experience of teaching Pichon’s ideas in Lyon, and in other French cities; René Kaës discusses meeting Pichon, and offers his translated introduction to the French version of the complete work of Pichon; Rosa Marcone interviews Ana P. de Quiroga, Pichon’s life partner for many years and subsequently the director of the School of Social Psychology that Pichon founded; Alberto Eiguer narrates an experience with Pichon and his influence on Eiguer’s ideas and writing; and Vicente Zito Lema gives his vision of Pichon’s work from sociological and philosophical perspectives. Finally, David Scharff summarizes Pichon’s major ideas and offers a comparison between these concepts and object relations theory. The book also includes a glossary by the editors of Pichon-Rivière’s major concepts and terms.




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