Who Is the Dreamer, Who Dreams the Dream?: A Study of Psychic Presences

Routledge
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In Who Is the Dreamer Who Dreams the Dream? A Study of Psychic Presences, James Grotstein integrates some of his most important work of recent years in addressing fundamental questions of human psychology and spirituality. He explores two quintessential and interrelated psychoanalytic problems: the nature of the unconscious mind and the meaning and inner structure of human subjectivity. To this end, he teases apart the complex, tangled threads that constitute self-experience, delineating psychic presences and mystifying dualities, subjects with varying perspectives and functions, and objects with different, often phantasmagoric properties.

Whether he is expounding on the Unconscious as a range of dimensions understandable in terms of nonlinear concepts of chaos, complexity, and emergence theory; modifying the psychoanalytic concept of psychic determinism by joining it to the concept of autochthony; comparing Melanie Klein's notion of the archaic Oedipus complex with the ancient Greek myth of the labyrinth and the Minotaur; or examining the relationship between the stories of Oedipus and Christ, Grotstein emerges as an analyst whose clinical sensibility has been profoundly deepened by his scholarly use of mythology, classical thought, and contemporary philosophy. The result is both an important synthesis of major currents of contemporary psychoanalytic thought and a moving exploration of the nature of human suffering and spirituality.

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About the author

James M. Grotstein, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute and at The Psychoanalytic Center of California.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 17, 2013
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781134901746
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Applied Psychology
Psychology / General
Psychology / Psychotherapy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Psychoanalytic Participation: Action, Interaction, and Integration, Kenneth Frank argues that the gulf between analysis and what he terms "action-oriented" or cognitive-behavioral techniques is anachronistic and has unnecessarily limited the repertoire of analytically oriented clinicians. In point of fact, action-oriented and even cognitive-behavioral techniques may be employed in ways that are consistent with the analytic goal of promoting profound personality change, and so may be profitably incorporated into analytic treatments.

Anchoring his discussion in a contemporary two-person model of psychoanalysis, Frank clarifies and extends the shift toward analyst participation that has developed within recent relational theorizing. On the basis of this orientation, which calls attention to the therapeutic importance of the real qualities of the analyst and of the analytic relationship, Frank sets forth a pragmatic analytic approach that balances traditional "process" elements with patients' problem-solving and outside progress in realizing life goals. By letting themselves be known by their patients and by participating intensively and actively in their treatment, analysts as analysts can help patients shape new and adaptive behaviors in their daily lives. It is the participatory possibilities growing out of a contemporary relational perspective that provide the ground for a rapprochement between psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavior therapy. To this end, Frank presents numerous examples of how action-oriented, cognitive-behavioral principles and techniques can be used to potentiate and accelerate the analytic process.

At once scholarly and exploratory, pragmatic and visionary, Psychoanalytic Participation helps shepherd psychoanalysis into the 21st century while making psychoanalytic wisdom - both traditional and contemporary - available to the broad community of psychotherapists appreciative of the usefulness of cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies.
The theory of transference and the centrality of transference interpretation have been hallmarks of psychoanalysis since its inception. But the time has come to subject traditional theory and practice to careful, critical scrutiny in the light of contemporary science. So holds Joseph Schachter, whose Transference: Shibboleth or Albatross? undertakes this timely and thought-provoking task.

After identifying the weaknesses and inconsistencies in Freud's original premises about transference, Schachter demonstrates how contemporary developmental research across a variety of domains effectively overturns any theory that posits a linear deterministic relationship between early childhood and adult psychic functioning, including the adult patient's treatment behavior toward the analyst. No less trenchantly, he shows how contemporary chaos theory complements developmental research by making the very endeavor of historical reconstruction - of backward prediction - suspect on logical grounds. Nor, Schacter continues, does the clinical evidence normally adduced in support of transference theory provide the firm bedrock of data that most analysts suppose to exist. What one finds, he holds, are endlessly reiterated claims of identifying determining historical antecedents sustained only by descriptions of current behaviors through a gloss of theory.

Less a polemic than a call to order, Transference: Shibboleth or Albatross? is cogently argued and straightforwardly written. It is destined to be a thorn in the side of analysts who resist change and a spur to those who seek to bring analytic theory into closer alignment with contemporary science in the interest of improves treatment efficacy.
Despite the importance of the concept of hope in human affairs, psychoanalysts have long had difficulty accepting responsibility for the manner in which their various interpretive orientations and explanations of therapeutic action express their own hopes for their patients. In Objects of Hope: Exploring Possibility and Limit in Psychoanalysis, Steven Cooper remedies this longstanding lacuna in the literature, and, in the process, provides a thorough comparative analysis of contemporary psychoanalytic models with respect to issues of hope and hopefulness.

Cooper's task is challenging, given that the most hopeful aspects of human growth frequently entail acceptance of the destructive elements of our inner lives. The analysis of hope, then, implicates what Cooper sees as a central dialectic tension in psychoanalysis: that between psychic possibility and psychic limit. He argues that analysts have historically had difficulty integrating the concept of limit into a treatment modality so dedicated to the creation and augmentation of psychic possibility. And yet, it is only by accepting the realm of limit as a necessary counterpoise to the realm of possibility and clinically embracing the tension between the two realms that analysts can further their understanding of therapeutic process in the interest of better treatment outcomes.

Cooper persuasively demonstrates how each psychoanalytic theory provides its own logic of hope; this logic, in turn, translates into a distinctive sense of what the analyst may hope for the patient, and what the patient is encouraged to hope for himself or herself. Objects of Hope brings ranging scholarship and refreshing candor to bear on the knotty issue of what can and cannot be achieved in the course of psychoanalytic therapy. It will be valued not only as an exemplary exercise in comparative psychoanalysis, but also as a thoughtful, original effort to place the vital issue of hope at the center of clinical concern.
In this readable meditation on the nature of emotional experience, Joseph Jones takes the reader on a fascinating walking-tour of current research findings bearing on emotional development. Beginning with a nuanced reappraisal of Freud's philosophical premises, he argues that Freud's reliance on "primary process" as the means of linking body and mind inadvertantly stripped affects of their process role. Further, the resulting emphasis on fantasy left the problem of conceptualizing the mental life of the prerepresentational infant in a theoretical limbo.

Affects as Process offers an elegantly simple way out of this impasse. Drawing in the literatures of child development, ethology, and neuroscience, Jones argues that, in their simplest form, affects are best understood as the presymbolic representatives and governors of motivational systems. So conceptualized, affects, and not primary process, constitute the initial processing system of the prerepresentational infant. It then becomes possible to re-vision early development as the sequential maturation of different motivational systems, each governed by a specific presymbolic affect. More complex emotional states, which emerge when the toddler begins to think symbolically, represent the integration of motivational systems and thought as maturation plunges the child into a world of loves and hates that cannot be escaped simply through behavior. Jones' reappraisal of emotional development in early childhood and beyond clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of such traditional concepts as infantile sexuality, object relations, internalization, splitting, and the emergence of the dynamic unconscious. The surprising terminus of his excursion, moreover, is the novel perspective on the self as an emergent phenomenon reflecting the integration of affective and symbolic processing systems.

How to Develop Self-Discipline, Resist Temptations and Reach Your Long-Terms Goals

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