In this volume, the authors complete the circle begun with Faces in a Cloud (1979) and continued with Structures of Subjectivity (1984) and Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (1987- with Brandchaft). They now extend intersubjectivity theory to a rethinking of the foundational pillars of psychoanalytic theory since they have already demonstrated the degree to which psychological theory is influenced by the subjective world of the psychological theorist, explored the various "structures of subjectivity" that organize the subjective world, and applied the intersubjective perspective to a broad array of clinical issues.
Beginning with an in-depth critique of the concept of the isolated individual mind, Stolorow and Atwood argue that this myth has long obstructed recognition of the intersubjective foundations of psychological life. The authors then proceed to a series of chapters that reframe, from the standpoint of intersubjectivity theory, basic assumptions of the psychoanalytic theory of mental life. Concluding chapters on "varieties of therapeutic alliance" and "varieties of therapeutic impasse" further exemplify the ability of intersubjectivity theory to reorient the psychoanalytic therapist, thus providing fresh strategies for understanding and addressing the most challenging clinical contingencies.
Contexts of Being is the conceptual culmination of Stolorow and Atwood's earlier studies, giving them a forum to explain why the perspective of intersubjectivity cannot be reduced to a clinical sensibility that can be grafted onto existing psychoanalytic theory. Rather, the authors argue, the intersubjective perspective has methodological and epistemological implications that mandate a radical revision of all aspects of psychoanalytic thought. Not only a cogent elaboration of these implications, the volume is also an important first step in effecting the sweeping revision that follows from them.
"This book succeeds admirably in describing an important new viewpoint in psychoanalysis in an easily accessible way. Whatever one's view of the intersubjective approach, this volume ensures that view can be based on its lucid exposition."
- Robert Galatzer-Levy, M.D., International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Part I: Theoretical Foundations. The Myth of the Isolated Mind. Three Realms of the Unconscious. The Mind and the Body. Trauma and Pathogenesis. Fantasy Formation. Part II: Clinical Applications. Varieties of Therapeutic Alliance. Varieties of Therapeutic Impasse.
Like its counterpart, Psychoanalytic Inquiry: A Topical Journal for Mental Health Professionals, the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series presents a diversity of subjects within a diversity of approaches to those subjects. Under the editorship of Joseph Lichtenberg, in collaboration with Melvin Bornstein and the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, the volumes in this series strike a balance between research, theory, and clinical application. We are honored to have published the works of various innovators in psychoanalysis, such as Lachmann, Fosshage, Stolorow, Orange, Sander, Wurmser, Grotstein, Jones, Brothers, Busch, and Lichtenberg, among others.
The series includes books and monographs on mainline psychoanalytic topics, such as sexuality, narcissism, trauma, homosexuality, jealousy, envy, and varied aspects of analytic process and technique. In our efforts to broaden the field of analytic interest, the series has incorporated and embraced innovative discoveries in infant research, self psychology, intersubjectivity, motivational systems, affects as process, responses to cancer, borderline states, contextualism, postmodernism, attachment research and theory, medication, and mentalization. As further investigations in psychoanalysis come to fruition, we seek to present them in readable, easily comprehensible writing.
After 25 years, the core vision of this series remains the investigation, analysis and discussion of developments on the cutting edge of the psychoanalytic field, inspired by a boundless spirit of inquiry.