In this, the latest in a series of books examining emotional states and psychological life, Salman Akhtar and Aisha Abbasi critically discuss a concept that remains, appropriately perhaps, elusive and hard to define: privacy.
Overlapping with ideas of solitude, secrecy and anonymity, the concept of privacy poses several crucial questions for analysts. How do our ideas of privacy evolve from childhood through to adolescence and adulthood, for example, and when does the need for privacy become morbid and psychopathological? How is privacy conceived differently in different cultures and sub-cultures? Investigating the tension between anonymity and self-disclosure, the book also assesses the challenges posed to clinical privacy, as well as the analyst’s own privacy, by the impact of social media and the wider digital age.
Privacy: Developmental, Clinical, and Cultural Realms represents an important contribution to psychoanalytic literature. It will be of great interest to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in practice and training as well as to researchers interested in the concept of privacy from across the applied and social sciences and the humanities.
"Akhtar and Abbasi have brought together a number of illustrious contributors to elucidate a topic of vital importance. ‘Privacy’ is relevant not only to psychotherapists and their patients but to all of us in our daily lives despite varying cultural, developmental and clinical definitions. All human beings have a private part of themselves that should be respected. The editors and their contributors underline and broaden the meaning of our precious ‘right’ to physical and mental privacy. This discourse is urgently needed in this day and age in which the ‘right to privacy’ is under siege." --Mary Kay O’Neil, Ph.D., Supervising and Training Psychoanalyst, Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis, Toronto.
"This fascinating book on privacy deserves, ironically, to become widely known. It brings attention to a vitally important but somewhat ignored topic which has been hiding in plain sight for too long. The delineation of the subjective realm we deem private turns out to have developmental roots, cultural variations, clinical applications, and political implications. This volume is essential reading , especially in this cyber era, where the right to privacy and the value of privacy is challenged on a daily basis." --Ira Brenner, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
The concept of privacy: an introductory overview
PART I: DEVELOPMENTAL REALM
The development of a sense of privacy
What can we learn about confidentiality from children and adolescents?
Jack Novick & Kerry Kelly Novick
Privacy, ruthless love, incest barrier, and the genital screen
PART II: CULTURAL REALM
Cross-cultural perspectives on privacy
Reflections on the privacy of self and the drive to create in the context of dislocation
The dilemmas of privacy in the Anne Sexton controversy
Paul Mosher & Jeffrey Berman
PART III: Clinical Realm
On self disclosure
Theodore J. Jacobs
Privacy in child therapy
The fine tension between the analyst’s need for privacy and the patient’s curiosity about the analyst
Between intimacy and privacy: a concluding commentary