Building on their long-lasting scientific partnership, Civitarese and Ferro offer an array of thought-provoking writings bolstered by extensive clinical material, attesting to their shared interpretation of psychoanalysis not only as a treatment for psychic suffering but also as inherently pleasurable and vitalizing.
In chapters that reflect inclinations, fantasies and obsessions that are both shared and personal, and by engaging with topics various enough to include dreams, ethics, emotions and aesthetics, the authors demonstrate how the practice of psychoanalysis might no longer be an insidiously moralistic or ideological exercise but rather a practice aimed at opening up and liberating the mind. By providing detailed engagement with the work of Bion and Ogden, as well as insights from their own substantial expertise, the authors explore how the synonymous concepts of playing and vitality can meaningfully inform and change clinical psychoanalytic practice.
With rich clinical material and a strong foundation in established theory, this book will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic therapists and postgraduate students hoping to make more room in the psychoanalytic lexicon for words like pleasure, dreaming, creativity, hospitality and growth.
'Written in an electrified poetic style that glitters and shivers and is drenched in intelligent and stimulating allusions, and peppered with striking images and insights, the new book by Antonino Ferro and Giuseppe Civitarese is nothing if not exciting and thought-provoking. The book conveys the liveliness and playfulness of the authors' approach to contemporary psychoanalysis and bravely presents challenges and reassessments of nuclear theoretical concepts. Playing and Vitality in Psychoanalysis crackles and sizzles and might well shake psychoanalysis to its very core. It is a rivetingly smart book.'
Elias M. da Rocha Barros is a training analyst at the Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of São Paulo and distinguished fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and Institute
'Playing and Vitality in Psychoanalysis is about field theory, but more importantly it is field theory – overbrimming with the characters and the stories and the plots and the angst and the pleasure – all of which is brought to life by a clarity of thinking that is rare in psychoanalysis today. One cannot read this book without being changed by it personally and professionally.'
Thomas Ogden most recently authored Coming to Life in the Consulting Room (Routledge, 2021)
'Antonino Ferro and Giuseppe Civitarese, playfully and with great vitality, lead us through the intimacy of their clinical practice. Through the numerous characters that circulate through the book, Ferro and Civitarese offer us a psychoanalytic reflection from a true aesthetic experience resulting from the very reading of the text. Several of Bion's and many other authors' ideas, such as the concept of the analytic field, come to life and are illustrated and deepened through the many clinical situations presented and through the authors' original reflections. Reading this book will certainly be a pleasant experience of pleasure, discovery, learning and enchantment.'
Ruggero Levy is a member of the SPPA, Porto Alegre, Brazil