Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis : A Model for Theory and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis
A Model for Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781138938083
Published May 16, 2017 by Routledge
168 Pages

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Book Description

In this book, Lewis Kirshner explains and illustrates the concept of intersubjectivity and its application to psychoanalysis. By drawing on findings from neuroscience, infant research, cognitive psychology, Lacanian theory, and philosophy, Kirshner argues that the analytic relationship is best understood as a dialogic exchange of signs between two subjects—a semiotic process. Both subjects bring to the interaction a history and a set of unconscious desires, which inflect their responses. In order to work most effectively with patients, analysts must attend closely to the actual content of the exchange, rather than focusing on imagined contents of the patient's mind. The current situation revives a history that is shaped by the analyst's participation.

Supported by numerous case studies, Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: A Model for Theory and Practice is a valuable resource for psychotherapists and analysts seeking to refine their clinical goals and methods.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION  1. Intersubejctivity  2.  Intersubjectivity in the Case of Ms. B  3. The Turn to Intersubjectivity in American Psychoanalysis  4. Passions and Affects in Psychoanalysis: An Intersubjective Approach  5. Affect in Clinical Work  6. A Semiotic Approach to Intersubjectivity  7. The Subject As Text: The Limits of Semiotics  8.  Beyond Semiosis

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Lewis Kirshner has worked as a Harvard professor and training psychoanalyst in Boston and been visiting professor in Lyon, France, and a Fulbright senior fellow in Ghent, Belgium. His numerous publications have treated developments in French psychoanalysis and the work of Lacan, Winnicott, and Ferenczi. His book Having a Life: Self-Pathology after Lacan received high praise from reviewers.


"With a profound knowledge, a non-reductionistic stance and a cross-disciplinary perspective, Lewis Kirshner succeeds in constructing a broadly based theory that illuminates the complex processes that underlie intersubjectivity. Through clinical presentations, he also demonstrates what it means to work intersubjectively in clinical practice."-Werner Bohleber, PhD, psychoanalyst, editor of the journal PSYCHE; Author of Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis

"With an impressive breadth of knowledge, clinical wisdom, and literary grace, Lewis Kirshner has given us a psychoanalytic text, Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis, of enduring value. Kirshner has always been an original voice in psychoanalysis and one of the very few that has successfully brought together disparate traditions––Lacanian, Winnicottian, Self-Psychological––for the benefit of any serious psychoanalyst or scholar. Here his brilliance shines brightest and the rewards for reading are plentiful."-Mitchell Wilson, MD Training and Supervising Analyst, San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis; Associate Editor, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

"What is intersubjectivity? and why has it become one of the most frequently used terms in contemporary psychoanalysis? Lewis Kirshner has long been known for his lucid expositions on the themes of subjectivity and the self. He has made Lacan available to American audiences by relating Lacanian theory to the various self-psychologies of Winnicott and Kohut. In this new text, Kirshner takes the reader through a guided tour of intersubjectivity, reviewing the fundamentals and then building a comparative psychoanalysis of intersubjectivity that draws from neuroscience, philosophy, semiotic theory and ‘beyond semiotics’ to the role of empathy, recognition, responsiveness, and ethics in the analytic relationship."-Lewis Aron, Ph.D. is Director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis