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New Books in Psychoanalysis

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Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books
127 Episodes
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Sandra Buechler joins hosts Christopher Bandini and Tracy Morgan to discuss her latest book, Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living: Addressing Life's Challenges in Clinical Practice (Routledge, 2019), which continues her long standing exploration of the role of values in the work of psychoanalysis. The book discusses the many common difficulties that drive patients into treatment, such as loss, a hunger for meaningful work, the wish for revenge, aging, queries over forgiveness, struggles with guilt and shame.  Buechler shows us how the analyst’s values inevitably shape their approach to these common topics, tilting treatments in myriad directions. As is her wont, she engages with poetry to deepen her explanations. She tells us that each of her books is generated by questions left unanswered in the previous one. And in each book, including this one, we see her in conversation with her forebears, particularly Sullivan, Fromm and Fromm-Reichman—what she calls her internal chorus. What makes this interview especially rich is the discussion between Bandini, her former supervisee of 14 years and herself. She is a member of his internal chorus. Their tone with each other has a familiarity and warmth. But they have both had to face the loss of that particular way of relating, supervisor to supervisee. Buechler most recently retired from clinical work, making her a maverick in a profession where “dying in one’s chair” is not exactly a joke.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst (Routledge, 2019), Barnaby Barratt illuminates a new perspective on the radicality of genuinely psychoanalytic discourse as the unique science of healing.Starting with an incisive critique of the ideological conformism of psychotherapy, Barratt defines the method of psychoanalysis against the conventional definition, which emphasizes the practice of arriving at useful interpretations about our personal existence. Instead, he shows how a negatively dialectical and deconstructive praxis successfully ‘attacks’ the self-enclosures of interpretation, allowing the speaking-listening subject to become existentially and spiritually open to hidden dimensions of our lived-experience. He also demonstrates how the erotic deathfulness of our being-in-the-world is the ultimate source of all the many resistances to genuinely psychoanalytic praxis, and the reason Freud’s discipline has so frequently been reduced to various models of psychotherapeutic treatment. Focusing on the free-associative dimension of psychoanalysis, Barratt both explores what psychoanalytic processes can achieve that the psychotherapeutic one cannot, and consider the sociopolitical implications of the radical psychoanalytic ‘take’ on the human condition. The book also offers a detailed and compassionate pointer for those wanting to train as psychoanalysts, guiding them away from what Barratt calls the ‘trade-school mentality pervading most training institutes today.Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.com and his website address is https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/228002Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Elizabeth Danto and Alexandra Steiner-Strauss’ edited book, Freud/Tiffany: Anna Freud, Dorothy Tiffany Burlingham and The Best Possible School (Routledge, 2018), stands to alter what has become practically an idee fixe about Anna Freud.  Whereas she can seem to exist only in a dyad with her father, she comes to life in this collection, outside of his purview.  We meet the wealthy Dorothy Tiffany (as in stained glass) Burlingham from NYC who settles in Vienna with her children, fleeing a hard marriage, seeking analytic treatment for herself and her family.  In short order, Anna Freud becomes the most important person in her life.  Anna returns Dorothy’s affections and together they embark on many marvelous and groundbreaking psychoanalytic projects.They create the Hietzing School in Red Vienna wherein the seeds for some of the most important psychoanalytic theorizing about children and adolescents are planted.  Anna analyzes Dorothy’s son.  Sigmund Freud analyzes Dorothy who he accepts as a daughter-in-law.  Together these two women form an over 40 year love and professional relationship that included buying a country cottage for weekend sojourns away from it all to creating the Hampstead war nurseries.  Anna helped raise Dorothy’s three kids and Dorothy trained to become an analyst.  Thanks to the wonderful essays in this book, Anna Freud begins to take a new and exciting shape.The book reads like a psychoanalytic who’s who: Erik Erikson, Peter Blos, August Aichorn are all on the scene teaching and advising at Heitzing.  Almost all the students have analytic sessions.  The Dewey method is applied.  We meet Blos before he decides to enter analysis, having fallen into this position.  We meet Erikson before he left his career as an artist to pursue analysis as well.This collection tells the story of a school, the lives it impacted, the intellectual and clinical legacy it generated, but most especially it highlights the libidinous legacy of Freud and Burlingham, who, in finding and loving each other, created new modes of research, innovative forms of clinical education and a variety of radical institutions that have forever changed the way we understand the lives of children.  And I have not even mentioned all the gorgeous photographs sprinkled throughout the text.Tracy D. Morgan is the founding editor and host of NBIP, a psychoanalyst in practice in NYC trained also as a historian, she writes about many things.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lacan published his Écrits in 1966, a compilation of his written work up to that middle period in his teaching. Notoriously difficult to read, the editors of the book we’re discussing today describe the Écrits as “an unwieldy, conglomerate ‘urtext’ … not a book at all … but ‘the waste’ of his teaching: elements he didn’t discuss in public … and sensitive points to which his audience would have reacted with reluctance.” It wasn’t until 2007 that, thanks to work of translator Bruce Fink, the complete edition of the Écrits were finally published in English. Now, Stijn Vanheule, Derek Hook and Calum Neill have brought us the three volume work, Reading Lacan’s Écrits (Routledge, 2018), which features world renowned Lacanian scholars and clinicians explicating in detailed paragraph-by-paragraph commentary each of the essays in the Écrits. Thanks to this publication, coming to grips with the Écrits in all its complexity has suddenly become possible. Lacan’s cryptic pronouncements are miraculously, lucidly reformulated, revealing them in their original and enlightening contributions to the practice and theory of psychoanalysis. What was involved in putting together this monumental and challenging work of exegesis? What does it say about the Lacanian tradition today — in all its differing styles, emphases and factions? Join us in conversation with Derek, Calum and Stijn as we explore this and more.Jordan Osserman grew up in South Florida and currently calls London home. He received his PhD in gender studies and psychoanalysis from University College London, his MA in psychosocial studies from Birkbeck College, and his BA in womens and gender studies from Dartmouth College. His published work can be found here.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Composer, philosopher, scientist, psychoanalyst-Emmanuel ("Manny") Ghent was all of these and more. In this comprehensive interview with the editors, Adrienne Harris and Victoria Demos of the new book Heart Melts Forward: The Collected Writings of Emmanuel Ghent (Routledge, 2018) we discuss the seminal theoretical ideas Manny was passionate about and their impact on relational thinking.Manny Ghent has a firm place in the relational/psychoanalytic lineage. He was an analysand of Clara Thompson, who one of the founding members of the interpersonal school, and herself an analysand of Sandor Ferenczi. Manny Ghent had a profound effect on the first generation of interpersonal relational writers including Stephen Mitchell, Muriel Dimen, and Jessica Benjamin. Heart Melts Forward is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the relational school of thought. In addition to being a psychoanalyst, Manny Ghent was a well-regarded composer and pioneer in electronic music. Here is a link to one of his better known works, Phosphones: https://vimeo.com/113807053You can reach Christopher Bandini at @cebandini.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Giuseppe Civitarese's An Apocryphal Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2019) is a book of transpositions, collecting together the author’s clinical vignettes, enigmatic objects, stray thoughts, projects, images, notes from readings, and musings; but also remarks on films and exhibitions, memories, episodes from daily life, summaries of papers to write, questions, doubts and obsessions—all of which have shaped the author’s understanding of psychoanalysis.Born from moments in which the author has sensed a solution for problems encountered in daily practice or for obscure but exciting points of theory, the entries are ordered in an apocryphal manner, offering a personal and challenging view of psychoanalysis. Like small epiphanies in which there is always an emotion—be it that of amusement, astonishment, gratitude, sadness, joy—they express the style of the analyst and of the person in treating mental suffering and give a glimpse into the imaginary which nurtures it. Ideas for psychoanalysis are outlined where at center stage is the ability to wait, to be surprised; to operate from the place of the unconscious, which by definition is a place of negativity, and to exercise a form of soft skepticism—ultimately, a mode of hospitality.Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.com and his website address is https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/228002.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Transformational Processes in Clinical Psychoanalysis: Dreaming, Emotions and the Present Moment (Routledge, 2019), Lawrence J. Brown offers a contemporary perspective on how the mind transforms, and gives meaning to, emotional experience that arises unconsciously in the here-and-now of the clinical hour. Brown surveys the developments in theory and practice that follow from Freud’s original observations and traces this evolution from its conception to contemporary analytic field theory.Brown cast a wide theoretical net in his exploration of these transformational processes and builds on the contributions of Freud, Theodor Reik, Bion, Ogden, the Barangers, Cassorla, Civitarese and Ferro. Bion’s theories of alpha function, transformations, dreaming and his clinical emphasis on the present moment are foundation to this book. Brown’s writing is clear and aims to describe the various theoretical ideas as plainly as possible. Detailed clinical material is given in most chapters to illustrate the theoretical perspectives. Brown applies this theory to transformational processes to a variety of topics, including the analyst’s receptivity, countertransference as transformation, the analytic setting, the paintings of J.M.W. Turn, “autistic transformation” and other clinical situations in the analysis of children and adults.Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If I could vote for my favorite new psychoanalytic book of the 21st century, Ellen Pinsky's Death and Fallibility in the Psychoanalytic Encounter: Mortal Gifts (Routledge, 2017) would be it.But to be clear, this is actually a set of essays and definitely not a collection of articles: it is full of style. The author marries two blind spots in the field and creates a conversation between them. The result of this union yields a reflective rejoinder to popular psychoanalytic preoccupations old and new, chief among them, enactments, neutrality, analytic subjectivity, and abstinence.These essays also return sex and death to the heart of the psychoanalytic endeavor while reminding the reader that technique and ethics are one and the same.Pinsky sets out to explore the field’s overall silence regarding the mortality of the analyst and his sexual transgressions in the consulting room.  She asks, what happens to the patient when the analysis is brought to a sudden end, by death or violation of the frame?She argues that the turning of a blind eye to these two conceptually interrelated “events” is rooted in a deeper refusal to wrestle with the demands of analytic work and the analyst's fallibility.  (I could make an argument that this is also largely a book about men in the field but that would be a separate essay.)Our consulting rooms are, ideally, transference hothouses.  How can the analyst survive the rigors of a setting that demands he listen, feel and absorb multiple transferences, and perhaps most especially the demand for love and gratification, without acting?  What, if any, possible preparation can safeguard analysts and analytic treatments from demise?  How does the analyst endure not mattering day in and day out, because if we are honest, we know the transference is not about who we actually are? Have we fallen prey to a narrative that sees the analyst as being like a God, beyond death, asks Pinsky, so as to protect the analyst from the truth of his human imperfectability, and to compensate for his deprivations?If we are abstinent, she argues, desire grows, and if we are neutral, the patient wants to say more.  Desire and freedom flourish in this fertile surround.  Should the transference flower, and wildly so, on the uptick, ghosts become ancestors. However, should the analyst feel indomitable, beyond supervision, (an American conceit for sure) he can lose the proverbial thread, thinking of himself as an exception, beyond death or analytic responsibility.  He may believe the love emanating from the patient to be about his person and feel compelled to act or, he is driven to retaliate because he knows he is irrelevant yet must suffer verbal slings and arrows.  Either which, the patient, giving the analyst her all, may concomitantly find her wishes for love gratified, yet her analysis annihilated.Perhaps it would be better if her analyst had died without a warning? And many an analyst dies without giving any warning, leaving patients scattered hither and yon.  How, asks Pinsky, do we tell a patient that things must come to an unwelcome end?  What does the patient lose when the analyst dies anyway?  What is the fate of the transference when the conditions that house it are destroyed, either by death or transgression?Tracy Morgan is the founding editor of New Books in Psychoanalysis and a psychoanalyst, working in NY, NY and Rome, Italy.  She can be reached at tracedoris@gmail.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Since the classical Freudian and ego psychology paradigms lost their position of dominance in the late 1950’s, psychoanalysis became a multi-paradigm science with those working in the different frameworks increasingly engaging only with those in the same or related intellectual “silos.” Beginning with Freud’s theory of human nature and civilization, Psychoanalytic Thinking: A Dialectical Critique of Contemporary Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2018) proceeds to review and critically evaluate a series of post-Freudian contributions to psychoanalytic thought.Out of dialogue and mutual critique, psychoanalysis can separate the wheat from the chaff, collect the wheat and approach an ever-evolving synthesis. This book will be of interest to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and, more broadly, to readers in philosophy, social science and critical social theory.Donald Carveth is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought and a Senior Scholar at York University, Toronto, Canada and a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis. He is past Director of the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis and a past Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis/Revue canadienne de psychanalyse.Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue. We interview Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, whose book, The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance (forthcoming with MIT Press) is undergoing a Massive Online Peer-Review (MOPR) process, where everyone can make comments on his manuscript. Additionally, his book will be Open Access (OA) since the date of publication. We discuss with him how do MOPR and OA work, how he managed to combine both of them and how these initiatives can contribute to the democratization of knowledge.You can participate in the MOPR process of The Good Drone through this link: https://thegooddrone.pubpub.org/Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices within social movements mobilize and radicalize heavily aggrieved collectives.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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