Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Metaphor and Fields

Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

Edited by S. Montana Katz


244 pages

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pub: 2012-12-18
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Metaphor and Fields is an explanation and demonstration of the value of metaphoric processes and fields in psychoanalysis. In this book, Montana Katz articulates a future direction for psychoanalysis which is progressively explored, taking into account features essential to psychoanalysts of all persuasions, clinically and theoretically. In this way, psychoanalysis is brought into the postmodern future by fashioning an umbrella for the discipline. With this umbrella, the barriers to mutual understanding may be dismantled and a path permanently forged to the possibility of meaningful international, intercultural, interdisciplinary and poly-perspectival psychoanalytic exchange.

Metaphor and Fields organically merges work on metaphoric processes with work on fields. The use of a framework with metaphoric processes and fields combined exhibits the uniqueness of psychoanalysis and shows how it explores and explains human experience. The relational fields of the North American school of relational theory, intersubjective matrices, self object matrices, and the ground breaking work of Madeleine and Willy Baranger are all examples of field concepts that have been successfully employed in theoretical frameworks and clinical technique. They show how other schools of thought can be understood as using an implicit field concept.

The chapters in this book approach the subject from diverse vantage points. Taken together, they form an intricate web of psychoanalytic thought that moves the scope of psychoanalysis beyond dispute towards the open, inclusive discussion of core concepts and technique. Metaphor and Fields will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, mental health clinicians, psychologists, social workers, and a wide academic audience drawn from the fields of philosophy, linguistics, comparative literature, anthropology and sociology.


"Montana Katz writes in a way that combines lovely intuitions and rigorous thinking. This book is a delight!" - Jerome Bruner, New York University, USA

"Is it possible to formulate a unified theory of psychoanalysis that takes due account of differences? Montana Katz’s original in-depthresponse to this key question turns around the concepts of metaphor and field. Her selection of papers by leading contemporary analysts offers fruitful links to the ideas of Willy and Madeleine Baranger who were the first to develop field theory in psychoanalysis, thereby opening up problems that remain as relevant today as they were in their own time, particularly in the context of the psychoanalytic encounterAs a fascinating interplay between different but equally insightful and scholarly perspectives, this book is unique and I therefore recommend it most enthusiastically." - Haydee Faimberg, MD, Paris Psychoanalytical Society,author of The Telescoping of Generations: Listening to the Narcissistic links between Generations

"This outstanding collection of essays from a theoretically diverse, internationally acclaimed group of analytic authors represents an important contribution to our understanding of field theory and therapeutic action. In exploring the role of metaphor in the creation and transformation of the intersubjective analytic field, it reaffirms the central places that language and the creation of meaning hold in the analytic process and cure." - Howard Levine, Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, USA

Table of Contents

Baranger, Foreword. Katz, Introduction. Katz, Preliminary Foundational Concepts. Katz, Metaphoric Processes. Wallerstein, Metaphor in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Data. Wurmser, Metaphor and Conflict. Modell, Metaphor, Meaning, and the Mind. White, Metaphor in Three Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Borberly, Metaphor, Temporality, and Metonymy. Bornstein and Becker-Matero, Metaphor and Psychodynamic Research. Katz, Psychoanalytic Field Concepts. Corel, Context for the Barangers’ Work on the Psychoanalytic Field. Civitarese and Ferro, Metaphor in Analytic Field Theory. Rizzuto, Fields, the "Talking Cure," and Metaphoric Processes. Tubert-Oklander, Field, Process, and Metaphor. de Leon de Bernardi, Metaphor, Spiral Process, and Fields. Neri, Other Fields Within the Analytic Field. Rappoport de Aisemberg, The Analytic Relationship in Field Theory.

About the Editor

S. Montana Katz is a training and supervising analyst, and a member of faculty for the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. She is in private practice in New York City.


About the Series

Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series

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.

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Subject Categories

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