15 Psychoanalytic Theory Books Published in July 2017

#1 Says Who?: The Struggle for Authority in a Market-Based Society

‘We live in an extremely controlling society in which authority has disappeared … traditional authority is lapsing into brute force … and we ourselves must take the first steps towards creating a new social order.’

This was the trenchant diagnosis by Paul Verhaeghe at the end of his acclaimed book about identity, What About Me? Now he returns to investigate another aspect of our lives under threat: authority.

In Says Who?, Verhaeghe examines how authority functions and why we need it in order to develop healthy psyches and strong societies. Going against the laissez-faire ethics of a free-market age, he argues that rather than seeing authority as a source of oppression we should invest in developing it in the places that matter. Only by strengthening the power of horizontal groups within existing social structures, such as in education, the economy, and the political system, can we restore authority to its rightful place. Whether you are a parent or child, teacher or student, employer or employee, Says Who? provides the answers you need.

#2 The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known - 30th Anniversary Edition 

In The Shadow of the Object, Christopher Bollas integrates aspects of Freud’s theory of unconscious thinking with elements from the British Object Relations School. In doing so, he offers radical new visions of the scope of psychoanalysis and expands our understanding of the creativity of the unconscious mind and the aesthetics of human character. 

During our formative years, we are continually "impressed" by the object world. Most of this experience will never be consciously thought, and but it resides within us as assumed knowledge. Bollas has termed this "the unthought known", a phrase that has ramified through many realms of human exploration, including the worlds of letters, psychology and the arts.

Aspects of the unthought known --the primary repressed unconscious --will emerge during a psychoanalysis, as a mood, the aesthetic of a dream, or in our relation to the self as other. Within the unique analytic relationship, it becomes possible, at least in part, to think the unthought -- an experience that has enormous transformative potential.

Published here with a new preface by Christopher Bollas, The Shadow of the Object remains a classic of the psychoanalytic literature, written by a truly original thinker.

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#3 Lacanian Psychoanalysis with Babies, Children, and Adolescents: Further Notes on the Child

Lacan did not say or write very much about the psychoanalysis of children. There is no doctrine of the psychoanalysis of children in his work. Instead, his 1956-1957 seminar on ‘the object relation’ and his ‘Note on the Child’ of 1969 have been adopted by Lacanian analysts working with children as providing essential coordinates for direction in their clinical work. This book is the result of inviting psychoanalysts of the Lacanian orientation working with children around the globe to theorise and conceptualise that work.

The Lacanian psychoanalyst works with the notion of the subject as a ‘speaking being’, but the child subject brings particular exigencies to the psychoanalytic work. Contributors attend to these exigencies in their essays by articulating the precise particularities of the direction of the treatment and psychoanalytic work with children. Contributions consider and explore the effects of new technologies, bio-medicine, and the discourses of global capitalism and neo-liberalism upon the constitution of new child subjectivities and their correlative psychopathologies; inventions and reinventions of the role and function of the ‘father’; the scope and value of differential diagnosis; the child as ‘symptom’ in and of ‘the system’; and ultimately, guidelines for a specifically Lacanian direction of the treatment with children.

#4 Psychoanalysis Online 3: The Teleanalytic Setting

Psychoanalysis Online 3: The Teleanalytic Setting is a highly topical, continuing conversation on the role of technology in psychoanalysis and its tremendous potential for outreach to patients in the global economy. It describes the essentials of a framework for teleanalysis that is secure in terms both of technology and ethical stance. The technology is a third in the therapeutic alliance and its impact needs to be analysed like every other element in the field.

Teleanalysis appears to some people to be a distancing methodology but the authors report surprising closeness across a distance. Teleanalysis offers a window into the analytic pair’s experience of time, space, deprivation, fantasy, and physicality and shows unconscious dynamics displayed graphically on the image on the screen. The book looks at the convenience and impact of internet use among various communities including LGBTQI in terms of defense against and transition to intimacy, and gives clinical evidence of transformation made possible through the therapeutic aspects of technology.

#5 Bion and Contemporary Psychoanalysis

This book examines the importance and continued relevance of A Memoir of the Future in understanding and applying Bion’s work to contemporary psychoanalysis. Bion continued to innovate throughout his life, but the Memoir has been largely overlooked.

Focusing on A Memoir of the Future is not only of deep interest in terms of the author’s biography, or even only in function of a better understanding of his theoretical concepts, but can also be considered, for all intents and purposes, the final chapter of an ingenious creative enterprise While by some it was thought as the evidence of Bion’s presumed senility, this book challenges that perspective, arguing that it represents the last challenge he issued to the psychoanalytic Establishment. In each chapter, the authors explore this notion that A Memoir forms an essential part of Bion’s theory, and that in it he establishes a new ‘aesthetic’ psychoanalytic paradigm.

#6 On Mental Growth: Bion's Ideas that Transform Psychoanalytical Clinical Practice

Psychoanalysis is indebted to Bion for some of its most original moments. He took it to its limits, establishing a dialogue with other disciplines and integrating the arts and sciences. This dialogue generated innovating questions that transformed the psychoanalitical technique. Bion conceived of the mind as a universe expanding, and psychoanalysis as a powerful, disruptive idea. His hypotheses significantly developed psychoanalytical clinical practice through its transformative model of mental growth. Bion extended our understanding of protomental and pre-natal phenomena, the mysterious transformations in hallucinosis, and the role of psychoanalytical intuition.

Psychoanalysis needs to include and incorporate emotional experiences that cannot immediately be apprehended by the senses, just as post-Newtonian physics has come to access infrasensorial phenomena. The Copernican revolution that Bion introduced is implied in his ideas of catastrophic change, transformation, and 'at-one-ment', which imply a new conception of analysis - not only as a process towards knowing oneself but also to be in 'at-one-ment' with what one is becoming. The chapters containing theoretical and abstract notions are followed by discussions of contemporary film, used as clinical illustration. The final chapter, concerning the primitve mind in Bion, has an original approach with its elaboration of the concept of 'tropisms'.

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#7 Attacks on Linking Revisited: A New Look at Bion’s Classic Work

This book aims at providing further contributions inspired by Bion's paper Attacks on Linking (1959) by a distinguinshed group of scholars who have focused on different aspects of his propositions.

Contributors: Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, Rachel B. Blass, Ronald Britton, Catalina Bronstein, Elias Mallet da Rocha Barros, Elizabeth Lima da Rocha Barros, Antonino Ferro, Jay Greenberg, Monica Horovitz, Clara Nemas, Edna O'Shaughnessy, Rudi Vermote

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#8 Bion in Brazil: Supervisions and Commentaries

The discovery, translation into English, and publication of these previously unpublished recordings of Bion’s clinical supervisions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with commentaries by leading Brazilian psychoanalysts, gives readers the opportunity to experience for themselves his clinical and theoretical thought as it emerges and evolves through a series of fascinating case discussions.

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#9 Regret: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms

Missed opportunities, unfulfilled dreams, and broken promises are the stuff of everyday life and so is regret, the emotion that accompanies them. Unlike remorse which is consequent upon the realization that one has hurt a loved one, regret revolves around a wistful sense of having let oneself down. Middle aged and elderly individuals are specially prone to regret ; the wish to reverse what one did wrong gets intensified as time left to live becomes shorter. Regret also carries with it the potential of masochistic self-flagellation which conceals the omnipotent belief that things could have been otherwise; the fact that life is what it is thus gets denied and eclipsed.

#10 Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis

Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis provides a concise and clearly presented handbook for those who wish to study, practice, and teach the core competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis, offering primary skills in a straightforward and useable format.

Roy E. Barsness offers his own research on technique and grounds these methods with superb contributions from several master clinicians, expanding the seven primary competencies: therapeutic intent, therapeutic stance/attitude; analytic listening/attunement; working within the relational dynamic, the use of patterning and linking; the importance of working through the inevitable enactments and ruptures inherent in the work; and the use of courageous speech through disciplined spontaneity. 

In addition, this book presents a history of Relational Psychoanalysis, offers a study on the efficacy of Relational Psychoanalysis, proposes a new relational ethic and attends to the the importance of self-care in working within the intensity of such a model. A critique of the model is offered, issues of race and culture and gender and sexuality are addressed, as well as current research on neurobiology and its impact in the development of the model. The reader will find the writings easy to understand and accessible, and immediately applicable within the therapeutic setting. The practical emphasis of this text will also offer non-analytic clinicians a window into the mind of the analyst, while increasing the settings and populations in which this model can be applied and facilitate integration with other therapeutic orientations.

#11 Mindbrain, Psychoanalytic Institutions, and Psychoanalysts: A New Metapsychology Consistent with Neuroscience

In this book, Antonio Imbasciati criticises the isolationism of traditional psychoanalytic associations, compared to those of other branches of psychology, and their suspicion of neuroscience. Today, affective neuroscience is investigating the unconscious affects, which psychoanalysis has always done with different methods and a different language. The author points out how Freud’s energy-drive theory, although contradicted by scientific progress, has continued to characterise, a religiousness underpinning the spirit of psychoanalytic institutions: the icon of Freud. This spirit is accompanied by confusion between different psychoanalytic theories which are often incompatible with one another. The author blames the poor social image that psychoanalysis has earned in the past few years on this confusion of theories and haughty withdrawal into a single presumed orthodoxy. A former President of the IPA, Otto Kernberg, has even predicted the suicide of psychoanalytic institutions.

The author has addressed this chaos of theories throughout his life, integrating work on psychoanalysis, experimental psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive science, attachment theory and now neuroscience. In this context, he has developed a new metapsychology, which differs from the one conceived by Freud a century ago with the explanation of the functioning of the human mind in terms of drive. Although criticised for more than fifty years, the Freudian explanation is still considered by the institution as a fundamental competence of psychoanalysts, even though it contrasts with the development of clinical psychoanalysis. The author underlines the great difference between the clinical progress of psychoanalysis and the backwardness, vagueness, and confusion surrounding the theory.

#12 A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Conflicts and Reconciliation in Groups and Society

This book is a compilation of papers by different authors, among them Vamik Volkan, Robi Friedman, John Schlapobersky, Haim Weinberg, and Michael Bucholz, with a foreword by Earl Hopper and an introduction by Gila Ofer, both editor and contributor. While most of the writers are group analysts, working in the tradition of Foulkes, several others come from different though complementary perspectives, enriching the theoretical basis of the research. So, there are perspectives, inter alia, from Bion and Cortesao. The writers represent different countries and cultures, focusing on problems that are endemic to their own localities that yet have a wider and deeper resonance. We are introduced to conflict and division in Bedouin society, the Roma people living in Greece, citizens’ reflective communities in Serbia, continuing territorial and ideological differences in Israel and the middle-east, and tensions of difference in the psychoanalytic community itself.

The book throws light on some of society’s most intractable problems, generating compassion and understanding in place of hatred and division. If we have mostly become wary of hope and optimism in an embattled world, the message that reconciliation and forgiveness are possible, and that there are practical steps to achieving this, rather than idle dreams, makes this an important book with relevance to all those trying to make sense of present times and finding their role as responsible citizens.

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#13 Interpersonal Psychoanalysis and the Enigma of Consciousness

Edgar A. Levenson is a key figure in the development of interpersonal psychoanalysis whose ideas remain influential. Interpersonal Psychoanalysis and the Enigma of Consciousness builds on his previously published work in his key areas of expertise such as interpersonal psychoanalysis, transference and countertransference, and the philosophy of psychoanalysis, and sets his ideas into contemporary context. Combining a selection of Levenson’s own writings with extensive discussion and analysis of his work by Stern and Slomowitz, it provides an invaluable guide to how his most recent, mature ideas may be understood and applied by contemporary psychoanalysts in their own practice. 

This book explores how the rational algorithm of psychoanalytic engagement and the mysterious flows of consciousness interact; this has traditionally been thought of as dialectical, an unresolvable duality in psychoanalytic practice. Analysts move back and forth between the two perspectives, rather like a gestalt leap, finding themselves listening either to the "interpersonal" or to the "intrapsychic" in what feels like a self-state leap. But the interpersonal is not in dialectical opposition to the intrapsychic; rather a manifestation of it, a subset. The chapters pick up from the themes explored in The Purloined Self, shifting the emphasis from the interpersonal field to the exploration of the enigma of the flow of consciousness that underlies the therapeutic process. This is not the Freudian Unconscious nor the consciousness of awareness, but the mysterious Jamesian matrix of being. Any effort at influence provokes resistance and refusal by the patient. Permitted a "working space," the patient ultimately cures herself. How that happens is a mystery wrapped up in the greater mystery of unconscious process, which in turn is wrapped into the greatest philosophical and neurological enigma of all—the nature of consciousness. 

#14 Clinical Dialogues on Psychoanalysis with Families and Couples

This book widens the scope of clinical and theoretical contributions on Couple and Family Psychoanalysis by collecting case presentations and discussions by analysts from Europe, North America, Latin America, China and Australia. The rich cross-fertilization across countries and analytic orientations stimulates cross-cultural thinking and deepens clinical exploration.

In English language psychoanalysis, focus on object relations theory emphasizes internalization of early family figures in construction of the psyche, and their projective influence on others through continuing family interaction. Theories of the link and of the field explored in South America and Europe, shift focus from the internal life of the individual onto the influence of the other, and the way superordinate unconscious patterns introjected from previous generations are recreated by interacting members of families and couples, and in turn contribute to the continuing psychic evolution of individuals.

#15 An Analytic Journey: From the Art of Archery to the Art of Psychoanalysis

This book is a journey through almost forty years of practice. Each chapter is independent of the others and develops around a specific theme: psychoanalysis in France, the transference, fathers today, psychic bisexuality, the sick body, human destructivity, and so on. The underlying thread is none the less the question of knowing how the drive operates between the biological body and mental functioning consisting of representations and affects, and, especially, how it gives rise to thinking.

If thinking is an “act of the flesh”, as the author asserts, how can we refine our understanding of the vicissitudes of the “mysterious leap from the mind to the body”? Furthermore, how does Freudian metapsychology still help us today in our encounters with patients? Contemporary clinical practice is sometimes bewildering: acts, violence, pain, and somatization often replace neurotic conflicts and speech. The clinical stories related here have the aim of showing that a psychoanalysis rooted in the Freudian corpus is still alive and can continue to offer creative responses today.

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