Identity and the New Psychoanalytic Explorations of Self-organization: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Identity and the New Psychoanalytic Explorations of Self-organization

1st Edition

By Mardi Horowitz


126 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Advances in science and the humanities have demonstrated the complexity of psychological, social and neurological factors influencing identity. A contemporary discourse is needed to anchor the concepts required in speaking about identity in present day understanding. In Identity and the New Psychoanalytic Explorations of Self-organization, Mardi Horowitz offers new ways of speaking about parts of self, explaining what causes a range of experiences from solidity in grounding the self to disturbances in a sense of identity.

The book covers many aspects of both the formation and the deconstruction of identity. Horowitz examines themes including:

-The sense of identity

-Social learning

-Biological learning

-Identity and self-esteem

- Levels of personality functioning and growth

The book clarifies basic questions, defines useful terms, examines typical identity disturbances and presents a biopsychosocial theory which indicates how schemas operate in conscious and unconscious mental processing. The answers to the basic questions lead to improvements in psychotherapy practices as well as teaching and research methods.

Identity and the New Psychoanalytic Explorations of Self-organization will prove fascinating reading for those working in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and the social disciplines.


‘Horowitz addresses and solves a remarkable number of the enduring dilemmas associated with the emergence of identity. This book is an extraordinary achievement of integrative thought across numerous bodies of knowledge which delivers a perspective on identity that is going to be invaluable to all practicing clinicians.’ - Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, Professor and Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London

'In his latest work, Mardi Horowitz once again challenges us to examine familiar problems through new lenses. He suggests that self and identity provide an important perspective on psychological development and adaptation. Building on Erik Erikson’s pioneering work on the concept of Identity, Horowitz enriches our understanding of personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. Anyone who has thought about these issues in the past will think of them in exciting new ways.' - Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University

‘Horowitz's excellent book is a much needed, worthy successor to Erikson's ground breaking monograph, Identity and the Life Cycle, which launched the Psychological Issues book series over a half century ago. Horowitz offers an extremely impressive biopsychosocial integration of theory and research on identity over the past half century. This outstanding book makes a major contribution to our theoretical and clinical understanding of a central aspect of personality.’ - David Wolitzky, Professor of Psychology, New York University, USA, and Editor, Psychological Issues.

‘What the book offers is a variant way to view the overall human condition and its vicissitudes, using identity and its formation and deformations as the central looking glass, and this hopefully will prepare you to measure for yourself, the new value you find with this novel perspective on human mental and emotional health and illness. It provides such a fresh perspective for me. I trust that it does for you.’ - Robert S. Wallerstein, from the foreword

Table of Contents

Questioning Identity. Identity Disturbances. Learning Self, Psychologically. Identity Sense and Personality Disorder. Identity and Self Esteem.

About the Author

Mardi Horowitz is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. He is former president of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and is the author of numerous articles and books.

About the Series

Psychological Issues

The basic mission of Psychological Issues is to contribute to the further development of psychoanalysis as a science, as a respected scholarly enterprise, as a theory of human behavior, and as a therapeutic method.

Over the past 50 years, the series has focused on fundamental aspects and foundations of psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice, as well as on work in related disciplines relevant to psychoanalysis. Psychological Issues does not aim to represent or promote a particular point of view. The contributions cover broad and integrative topics of vital interest to all psychoanalysts as well as to colleagues in related disciplines. They cut across particular schools of thought and tackle key issues, such as the philosophical underpinnings of psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic theories of motivation, conceptions of therapeutic action, the nature of unconscious mental functioning, psychoanalysis and social issues, and reports of original empirical research relevant to psychoanalysis. The authors often take a critical stance toward theories and offer a careful theoretical analysis and conceptual clarification of the complexities of theories and their clinical implications, drawing upon relevant empirical findings from psychoanalytic research as well as from research in related fields.

The Editorial Board continues to invite contributions from social/behavioral sciences such as anthropology and sociology, from biologcal sciences such as physiology and the various brain sciences, and from scholarly humanistic disciplines such as philosophy, law, and ethics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health