Karen Starr, Psy.D., is Visiting Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Psychology Fellow at CUNY, The Graduate Center, and Adjunct Professor at the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, Long Island University at C.W. Post.
The core insight of psychoanalytic thought— that there is always more beneath the surface appearances of reality, and that this "more" is among other things affective, memory-laden and psychological—cannot fail to have had something to do with the experiences of the first Jewish analysts in their position of marginality and oppression in Habsburg-Catholic Vienna of the 20th century. The book concludes with some parallels between the decades leading to the Holocaust and the current political situation in the U.S. and Europe, and their implications for psychoanalytic practice today.
Covering Pfister, Reik, Rank, and Spielrein as well as Freud, Cooper-White sets out how the first analysts’ position as Europe’s religious and racial "Other" shaped the development of psychoanalysis, and how these tensions continue to affect psychoanalysis today. Old and Dirty Gods will be of great interest to psychoanalysts as well as religious studies scholars.
Ostow begins by classifying the three parts of the spiritual experience: awe, Spirituality proper, and mysticism. After he pinpoints the psychological origins of these feelings in infancy, he discusses the foundations of religious sentiment and practice and the brain processes associated with spiritual experience. He then focuses on spirituality's relationship to mood regulation, and the role of negative spirituality in fostering religious fundamentalism and demonic possession.
Ostow concludes with an analysis of an essay by the psychoanalyst Donald M. Marcus, who recounts his own spiritual experience during a Native American-style "vision quest" in the woods. Marcus's account demonstrates the constructive potential of spirituality and the way in which spirituality retrieves and recapitulates feelings of attachment to the mother.
Persuasively and brilliantly argued, Spirit, Mind, and Brain brings the disciplines of religion, behavorial neuroscience, and philosophy to bear on a groundbreaking new method for understanding religious ritual and belief.
In Toward Mutual Recognition, Marie T. Hoffman takes just such an approach. Coming from a Christian perspective, she suggests that the current relational turn in psychoanalysis has been influenced by numerous theorists - analysts and philosophers alike - who were themselves shaped by an embedded Christian narrative. As a result, the redemptive concepts of incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection - central to the tenets of Christianity - can be traced to relational theories, emerging analogously in the transformative process of mutual recognition in the concepts of identification, surrender, and gratitude, a trilogy which she develops as forming the "path of recognition." Each movement on this path of recognition is given thought-provoking, in-depth attention. Chapters dedicated to theoretical perspectives utilize the thinking of Benjamin, Hegel, and Ricoeur. In her historical perspectives, she explores the personal and professional histories of analysts such as Sullivan, Fairbairn, Winnicott, Erikson, Kohut, and Ferenczi, among others, who were influenced by the Christian narrative. Uniting it all together is the clinical perspective offered in the compelling extended case history of Mandy, a young lady whose treatment embodies and exemplifies each of the steps along the path of growth in both the psychoanalytic and Christian senses.
Throughout, a relational sensibility is deployed as a cooperative counterpart to the Christian narrative, working both as a consilient dialogue and a vehicle for further integrative exploration. As a result, the specter of psychoanalysis and religion as mutually exclusive gives way to the hope and redemption offered by their mutual recognition.
Howell begins with an explication of dissociation theory and research that includes the dynamic unconscious, trauma theory, attachment, and neuroscience. She then discusses the identification and diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) before moving on to outline a phase-oriented treatment plan, which includes facilitating a multileveled co-constructed therapeutic relationship, emphasizing the multiplicity of transferences, countertransferences, and kinds of potential enactments. She then expands the treatment possibilities to include dreamwork, before moving on to discuss the risks involved in the treatment of DID and how to mitigate them. All concepts and technical approaches are permeated with rich clinical examples.
Editors Jill Bresler and Karen Starr bring together an array of valuable theoretical and clinical contributions by relationally oriented psychoanalysts who identify their work as integrative. The book is organized in four segments: theoretical frameworks of psychotherapy integration; integrating multiple models of psychotherapy into a psychoanalytically informed treatment; working with specific populations; the future of integration, exploring the issues involved in educating clinicians in integrative practice.
The contributions in this volume demonstrate that integrating techniques from a variety of psychotherapies outside of psychoanalysis can enrich and enhance psychoanalytic practice. It will be an invaluable resource for all practicing psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in training, particularly those with an interest in relational psychoanalysis and psychotherapy integration.