Experiencing the Body
A Psychoanalytic Dialogue on Psychosomatics
Experiencing the Body: A Psychoanalytic Dialogue on Psychosomatics offers a range of perspectives on somatic illness, highlighting key points of convergence and difference between a range of psychoanalytic perspectives, to find a new understanding of this important issue.
Including contributions from experienced clinicians, each chapter presents contributions from two authors representing different points of view, before concluding with commentary from a third. It features discussion on key theoretical issues, including drive and affects, the role of the ideal ego, and the function of symbolisation, but also case studies of somatic patients, covering issues around depression and trauma, and exploring similarities and differences between somatic and borderline patients. Key treatment issues are also described such as psychosomatic investigation and the issue of transference and countertransference.
The result of a working party on psychosomatics of the European Psychoanalytical Federation, this unique book not only asks whether somatic illness arises from an impoverishment of the psyche or is primarily a form of communication through or by the body, but also tries to go beyond this classical opposition. It will appeal to any psychoanalyst or psychotherapist interested in this contentious and fascinating area.
Table of Contents
Section I: Two cases
Marina Perris-Myttas, Fotis Bobos
Section II: Clinical pictures
Chapter 1: Depression and psychosomatics
Jacques Press, Nick Temple, Eva Schmid-Gloor
Chapter 2: Trauma and its effects
Fotis Bobos, Jörg Frommer, Bérengère de Senarclens
Chapter 3: Somatic and borderline states
Bérengère de Senarclens, Christian Seulin, Marina Perris-Myttas
Section III: Treatment
Chapter 4: Psychosomatic investigation and treatment
Eva Schmid-Gloor, Jacques Press, Christian Seulin
Chapter 5: Transference and countertransference
Marina Perris-Myttas, Eva Schmid-Gloor, Luigi Solano
Section IV: Theoretical issues
Chapter 6: Drives and affects
Marina Perris-Myttas, Christian Seulin, Jörg Frommer
Chapter 7: Ideal ego, ego ideal and superego
Bérengère de Senarclens, Nick Temple, Fotis Bobos
Chapter 8: Symbolisation
Luigi Solano, Fotis Bobos, Nick Temple
Chapter 9: Defence mechanisms and levels of integration
Luigi Solano, Jörg Frommer, Jacques Press
Jacques Press is a teaching and supervising analyst at the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society and Chair of the Working Party on Psychosomatics of the European Psychoanalytical Federation. He was awarded the Pierre Marty Psychosomatic Award in 1997 and is the author of two books and numerous articles.
"This is an important collection on the subject of psychosomatic disorders as seen in psychoanalysis. Its essentially pragmatic approach and broad-minded view is to be welcomed. The subject is not only very well discussed, it is timely: the body-mind and mind-body issues are being revisited in the context of psychosomatic disorders and what might be called soma-psychic disorders. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature and should be read by all those interested in this vital area." --Ronald Britton, Distinguished Member British Psychoanalytical Society, IPA Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award 2013
"This volume demonstrates convincingly the psychoanalytic process as an unconscious psychosomatic communication between the bodies of patients and psychoanalysts. This means that remote analysis without this basic essential, without the presence of a body, is something different from psychoanalysis." --Prof. Dr. Martin Teising, President of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (2012-2018), European Representative at the IPA-Board
"It is clear to all those who have a bit of an interest in the theoretical configuration of international psychoanalysis that the planet "psychoanalysis" is under threat of babelisation. Each continent, each country even, if not each society, develops ‘its own’ model of psychoanalysis and even though ‘transversal’ theories thankfully exist, the latter however remain highly stamped with the cultural traits of the country where they are spoken. This is why when nine analysts from six different countries decide to meet regularly to talk about their respective clinical practices, such a project deserves to be praised and circulated accordingly. It should perhaps even be held as a model of what we must strive to develop so that European, if not global psychoanalysis, may endure as a project endowed with enough unity. As we can surmise, this is not an easy undertaking, but it is a necessary one, as necessary as the need to think about the obstacles encountered in the course of the exchanges. The very object of this book is to embark upon this adventure and account for it as accurately and honestly as possible. The fact that it should have come together on the topic of psychosomatics is probably not a coincidence: the body, the clinic of the body, the language of the body, might well aptly provide the kind of transversality required for this initial endeavour which, let us hope, will inspire many more." --Prof. René Roussillon, Training and supervising analyst of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society, Maurice Bouvet Prize 1991, Sigourney IPA Prize 2016, Member of the Research in Psychoanalysis Committee and Psychoanalysis at the University Committee of the IPA