Identification in Psychoanalysis : A Comprehensive Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Identification in Psychoanalysis
A Comprehensive Introduction

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 14, 2021
ISBN 9780367354855
April 14, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

This fascinating book offers an in-depth exploration of the gradual development of the concept of identification as it has evolved in the Freudian tradition of psychoanalysis.

Featuring a detailed review of the key Freudian texts, referencing them in their original German, this volume demonstrates how psychoanalysis sheds light on the richness and complexity of the identification process in human psychology, both at the individual and collective levels. The author closely follows the various reformulations of the theory—undertaken by Freud in the course of three different periods—and contextualizes them within her clinical experience with various pathologies and her observations of the development of individuals, revealing throughout the great extent to which this fundamental process is unconscious.

Providing a critical examination of a fundamental Freudian concept, this volume is not only a teaching manual serving specifically to train psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, but is also an important read for anyone interested in human sciences, philosophy, and the history of psychoanalysis.

Table of Contents

Foreword I. Identification and Symptom Formation 1. Identification: initial discussion of the concept 2. Hysterical identification A. The dream of the “witty butcher’s wife” B. Dream and hysteria: the “Dora” case 3. Identification in dream-work 4. Humourous identification A. From dream to witticism B. Varieties of humour or the play of comparisons C. Comical illusion II. Identification and Narcissism 1. Identification: oral stage drive and object choice A. Derivation of identification B. The work of puberty C. The two paths of sexual choice 2. “Totemic” identification A. Identification and projection. Magic as a model B. Totemism and father complex C. Identification: theoretical and clinical aspects 3. Narcissistic identification A. The fate of the lost object: mourning or melancholia B. Addendum to “mourning or melancholia”: about Karl Abraham C. Identification and metapsychology III. Oedipus Complex and Agencies of the Ego 1. Identification and repetition compulsion A. Reminiscence and control: the double play of “fort-da” B. Identification and the space of masochism 2. Love and identification: the function of the ideal A. The singular and the plural B. Identifications C. The ego and the ego ideal 3. Genesis and structure of ego formation: ego, ego ideal and superego A. Oedipal identifications B. Remarks on the structure of the ideal C. The work of the ego, between life drives and death drives In Conclusion 1. What has unfolded A. Freud I: Dream, hysteria and cognitive productions B. Freud II: Narcissism C. Freud III: Death drive and the second topic 2. Elements of a metapsychology of identification A. The identification topic B. Economy of identification C. Dynamics of identification

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Jean Florence is a Psychothérapies based in Belgium. As a professor at the UCL between 1973 and 2007, he taught Psychology, the Psychology of Dramatic Art, and Clinical Psychology and Psychoanalysis and became Professor Emeritus in 2007. He was President of the Belgian School of Psychoanalysis from 1982 to 1990, and from 1993 to 1997.


"This book would cover new ground within psychoanalytical scholarship. As few psychoanalysts, if any, have written systematically about this subject, Professeur Florence’s work would fill an important gap in the literature."

- Brett Kahr, practising psychoanlayst, UK