Mirroring and Attunement: Self-Realization in Psychoanalysis and Art, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mirroring and Attunement

Self-Realization in Psychoanalysis and Art, 1st Edition

By Kenneth Wright


224 pages

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Mirroring and Attunement offers a new approach to psychoanalysis, artistic creation and religion. Viewing these activities from a broadly relational perspective, Wright proposes that each provides a medium for creative dialogue: the artist discovers himself within his self-created forms, the religious person through an internal dialogue with ‘God’, and the analysand through the inter-subjective medium of the analysis.

Building on the work of Winnicott, Stern and Langer, the author argues that each activity is rooted in the infant’s preverbal relationship with the mother who ‘holds’ the emerging self in an ambience of mirroring forms, thereby providing a ‘place’ for the self to ‘be’. He suggests that the need for subjective reflection persists throughout the life cycle and that psychoanalysis, artistic creation and religion can be seen as cultural attempts to provide the self with resonant containment. They thus provide renewed opportunities for holding and emotional growth.

Mirroring and Attunement will provide essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and art therapists and be of interest to anyone working at the interface between psychoanalysis, art and religion.


"This lucidly written account of seminal concepts from Bion, Stern and Winnicott, brings them vividly to life through integrating them into an interdisciplinary work that incorporates ideas from art, poetry, and philosophy and that makes it recommended reading for practitioners and students of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy." - Ann Casement, Licensed Psychoanalyst; Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"Wright’s book is an invaluable contribution to the psychoanalytic literature. It considers the process of early mother–infant interaction, and its significance for psychoanalytic technique and for understanding artistic creation, in a clear, concise, heuristically invaluable fashion. The treatment he gives to the concept of projective identification and its technical implications is the most useful I have encountered. I strongly recommend this book to all psychoanalysts at all levels of experience…It deserves a place in every psychoanalyst’s library" – Martin A. Silverman, Psychoanalytic Quarterly - Vol. LXXX, No I, 2011

Table of Contents

Introduction. On Being in Touch. The Poetics of Interpretation. Deep Calling unto Deep. Making Experience Sing. Bion and Beyond. Words, Things and Wittgenstein. Shaping the Inarticulate. Embodied Language. The Search for Form. The Intuition of the Sacred. Recognition and Relatedness. The Silver Mirror.

About the Author

Kenneth Wright is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Suffolk and a Patron of the Squiggle Foundation. A well known commentator on Winnicott, he lectures nationally and internationally and has published papers on psychoanalysis, the creative arts and religion. His book Vision and Separation: Between Mother and Baby (1991) was awarded the Margaret S. Mahler Literature Prize (1992).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Jungian