On Psychoanalysis, Disillusion, and Death : Dead certainties book cover
1st Edition

On Psychoanalysis, Disillusion, and Death
Dead certainties

ISBN 9780415641432
Published February 14, 2014 by Routledge
144 Pages

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Book Description

For some years now, psychoanalysts have been trying to understand the implications of neuroscientific findings for psychoanalytic theory and practice. In On Psychoanalysis, Disillusion, and Death: Dead certainties Antonie Ladan looks at how findings from neuroscience and memory research can inform our understanding of some of the most important psychoanalytic concepts, such as transference and unconscious fantasy.

Central to the book are the 'dead certainties' that, to a great extent, determine how we lead our lives. Antonie Ladan argues that these certainties are too self-evident to be seen, as invisible as the air we breathe. He shows how in our associations with others, we are in large measure 'guided' by 'dead certain' relational patterns of which we are not conscious, but that remain implicit. Using clinical examples, Ladan illustrates how a specific form of observation, where the analysand and the analyst pay careful attention to their relationship over an extended period of time, makes it possible to gradually recognise these automatic expectations and behaviours in relational situations.

On Psychoanalysis, Disillusion, and Death explores how the psychoanalyst can bring the implicit patterns, within which analysands find themselves trapped, to their attention enabling them to look at the world from a 'disillusioning' perspective in order to accept life and the prospect of death for what they are. This book will be of interest to psychotherapists, analytical psychologists, psychoanalysts, therapists and students.

Table of Contents

Introduction. On the Yearning not to be Disillusioned.On the Analyst as a "Disillusionist".On the Illusion of an Autonomous Psychoanalysis. On Illusions in Relationships. On the Illusion of Togetherness. On the Illusion that the Analytic Relationship is an Ordinary One. On the Disillusion of Actual Death.

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Antonie Ladan is in private practice as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Zeist, the Netherlands. He is a full member of the International Psychoanalytical Association and a training and supervising analyst at the Dutch Psychoanalytical Society and the Dutch Psychoanalytical Association.


"In this truly wonderful book, filled with clearly articulated wisdom and rich clinical illustration, Antonie Ladan presents invaluable observations about how effective psychoanalytic treatment works. He focuses on the intricate process whereby skilled analysts painstakingly help their patients accept disillusion of their "dead certainty" that their analyst will relate to them in accordance with the fantasy of what they can expect of people, embedded in implicit memory, that justifies the self-defeating patterns to which they cling in misguided desperation. It is must reading for all mental health professionals, at every level of training and experience."- Martin A. Silverman, MD, is: Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU School of Medicine and Associate Editor and Book Review Editor of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly.

"This is an important book, one that offers an original and illuminating perspective on psychoanalytic treatment.  By focusing on the roles of illusion, disillusionment and death in psychoanalysis, issues that are rarely discussed in our literature, Antonie Ladan makes an invaluable contribution to our field." -Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Institute and The Institute for Psychoanalytic Education.