In this richly nuanced assessment of the various dimensions of mutuality in psychoanalysis, Aron shows that the relational approach to psychoanalysis is a powerful guide to issues of technique and therapeutic strategy. From his reappraisal of the concepts of interaction and enactment, to his examination of the issue of analyst self-disclosure, to his concluding remarks on the relational import of the analyst's ethics and values, Aron squarely accepts the clinical responsibilities attendant to a postmodern critique of psychoanalytic foundations.
"In this scholary and clearly written volume, Aron takes the reader on a guided tour of relational psychoanalysis and provides a thoughtful perspective on contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. I find his book to be a cutting-edge contribution to contemporar psychoanalytic discourse. It is one of the most absorbing and articulate statements of the current status of relational psychoanalysis to date."
- Glen O. Gabbard, Ph.D., Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
"Relational theory can be viewed as bridging the gaps among multiple domains: between classical Freudian drive and interpersonal theory on one hand, and between interpersonal and object realtions theory on the other. Lewis Aron charts this complex theoretical and historical landscape with skill and care. His interest in and attention to relationships serve him well. Distinctions and convergences among the various approaches and theorists are outlined with great clarity."
- John Deri, Ph.D., Psychoanalytic Books
"Although [Aron] has a clear point of view about most issues, this is also a work of comparative psychoanalysis. He has almost an insider's appreciation of virtually all points of view, and can be critical while maintaining respect. His writing is remarkably clear and free of jargon for a text so dense in the most evolved psychoanalytic ideas. This book is rich and illuminating, from the painting on the cover through the coda."
- Irwin Hirsch, Ph.D., Contemporary Psychoanalysis
"Combining a historically rigorous view of psychoanalytic theory with a sure grasp of the intricacies of practice, Aron makes a passionate and intelligent plea for the ineluctable openness of the psychoanalytic relationship and the knowledge we seek in it. I cannot imagine anyone seriously interested in psychoanalysis today who will not be challenged and enlightened by it."
- Jessican Benjamin, Ph.D., Author, The Bonds of Love
"This book is a breath of fresh air."
- Carol Martin, Ph.D., British Journal of Clinical Psychology
The Relational Orientation: An Introduction. Relational Theory and Its Boundaries: One- and Two-Person Psychologies. The Patient's Experience of the Analyst's Subjectivity. Interpretation as Expression of the Analyst's Subjectivity. Aspects of Mutuality in Clinical Psychoanalysis. The Dialectics of Mutuality and Autonomy: The Origins of Relational Theory in the Contributions of Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank. Enactment, Interaction, and Projective Identification: The Interpersonalization of Psychoanalysis. On Knowing and Being Known: Theoretical and Technical Considerations Regarding Self-Disclosure.
The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen A. Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, feminism, queer theory, sociocultural studies and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Adrienne Harris, Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. Committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts, he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and promoted new voices across the generations. Mitchell was later joined by the late Lewis Aron, also a visionary and influential writer, teacher and leading thinker in relational psychoanalysis.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, those that extend and develop that tradition, and works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast them with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts, along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision. Our aim is to enable a deepening of relational thinking while reaching across disciplinary and social boundaries in order to foster an inclusive and international literature.