1st Edition

Becoming Alive
Psychoanalysis and Vitality

ISBN 9781583919316
Published June 22, 2005 by Routledge
214 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

What does it mean to be and feel alive and real?
How do we become and be alive together?
Human beings are uniquely concerned with the question and marvel of what it means to feel alive and real, as well as the lifelong struggle of being alive together. Becoming Alive proffers a psychoanalytic theory of experiences of being alive, acknowledging that analyst and patient, indeed, each of us, are caught up in the larger drama and mystery of being alive. Focusing on the challenge in any psychoanalytic theory to demonstrate the relation between culture, community, and the individual, LaMothe's theory provides a bridge between the three, arguing that organizations of experiences of being alive are inextricably yoked to cultural stories, rituals, and practices. Enlivened by clinical illustrations and examples drawn from wider culture, Becoming Alive brings together psychoanalytic developmental perspectives, infant-parent research, semiotics, and philosophy in providing a comprehensive, lucid, and systematic description of subjective and intersubjective experiences of being alive.


'Lamothe’s work represents a unique and masterful orchestration of different strands of current psychoanalytic theory and developmental theory as portrayed from the vertex (as Bion would say) of being alive. The author’s theory of trauma in the last chapter was exceedingly interesting and unique. Trauma is not the only challenge to aliveness. Agency is another. This is a rewarding work for analysts, therapists, and the lay public.' - James S. Grotstein M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, USA

"This book is an exciting, enlivening and thought-provoking journey through the excellent and thoughtful eyes of LaMothe, a man of obvious integrity and intelligence. The many pages of references provided at the end of the book attribute to LaMothe’s scholarship and curiosity in writing this treatise. Becoming Alive celebrates the experience of being alive and questions the entire practice of diagnosing mental illness as a convenient illusion.  This book should be of interest to psychoanalysts, to all clinicians interested in theory, and to all teachers, philosophers, scholars, and people in related disciplines who are interested in pondering the question of why we are here and what difference it should make." - Marilyn Newman Metzl, PhD is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Kansas City and is a faculty and supervisor with the Kansas City Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysts