2020 American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa) book award winner!
In Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst, Barnaby B. Barratt illuminates a new perspective on what it means to open our awareness to the depths of psychic life and restores 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 psychotherapeutic ones cannot, and considers 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.
Groundbreaking and inspiring, Beyond Psychotherapy will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and all other therapists seeking a radically innovative approach. It will also be a valuable text for scholars and students of psychoanalytic studies, social sciences, philosophy and the history of ideas.
Table of Contents
About the author. Prefatory note; Chapter 1: Introducing praxis: Why 'radical' and why 'beyond'?; Chapter 2: Free-associative praxis against interpretation; Chapter 3: Notes on becoming a psychoanalyst; Chapter 4: Psychoanalytic discoveries: Sexuality and deathfulness; Chapter 5: The psychoanalytic leap and the necessity of revolution; Notes; Bibliography; Index
Dr Barnaby B. Barratt is Director of Studies at the Parkmore Institute and Senior Research Associate at the WITS Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is a Supervising Analyst with the Indian Psychoanalytic Society, as well as a Training Analyst with the South African Psychoanalytic Association, and was previously a Training Analyst with the American Psychoanalytic Association. His books include What is Psychoanalysis? and Radical Psychoanalysis: An Essay on Free-Associative Praxis (both Routledge).
'I believe this volume and the rest of the trilogy provide an important contribution to contemporary psychoanalytic literature. They remind us of the importance of Freud’s early discoveries about free association, and the nature of bound and unbound energy. But they also trigger a review of the presentational and representational levels of experience, as well as the role of empathy and its absence in shaping the nature of our internal and external world. Perhaps the greatest gift of these works is the reminder of the quiet but primary nature of lived experience in terms of being and becoming, without which we might all be living disembodied lives.'
Maxine Anderson is a training and supervising analyst for several psychoanalytic institutes in North America; a fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA); and a fellow of the British Institute of Psychoanalysis. To read this review in full, please see the following: Anderson, M. K. (2021) Beyond psychotherapy: on becoming a (Radical) psychoanalyst: [by]Barnaby B. Barratt, London and New York, Routledge, 2019, 207 pp., £29.99, ISBN: 9781138362222. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 102:638-642