2020 Gradiva Award Nominee, Best Edited Book
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women and Their Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership considers how these factors can be understood, nurtured, or thwarted and the subsequent impact on women’s identity, authority and satisfaction.
Psychoanalysis has long struggled with its ideas about women, about who they are, how to work with them, and how to respect and encourage what women want. This book argues that psychoanalytic theory and practice must evolve to maintain its relevance in a volatile landscape. Each section of the book begins with a chapter that reviews contemporary ideas regarding women, as well as psychoanalytic history, gender bias, and societal norms and deficits. Three composite clinical stories allow our distinguished contributors to discuss the contexts within which individual experience can be affected, and the role that clinical work may have to mobilize and advance passion and vitality. In their discussions, the interplay of clinical psychoanalysis, sociopolitical context, and understanding of gender, combine to offer a unique perspective, built on decades of scholarship, personal experience, and clinical expertise.
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women and Their Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership will serve as a reference for all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as gender studies scholars interested in the progress of psychoanalytic theory regarding women in the 21st century.
Contributors to this book include: Rosemary Balsam, Brenda Bauer, Andrea Celenza, Diane Elise, Adrienne Harris, Dorothy Holmes, Nancy Kulish, Vivian Pendar, Dionne Powell, and Arlene Richards.
Table of Contents
Introduction Stephanie R. Brody, Psy.D. Section I: Desire Chapter 1: Women and Desire Stephanie R. Brody, Psy.D. Chapter 2: Marie - Stephanie R. Brody, Psy.D. Chapter 3: The Clinical Case of Desire Dr. Jane Doe with commentary by Rosemary H. Balsam, M.D. Chapter 4: The Present Absence of Desire in a Dead Body Andrea Celenza, Ph.D. Chapter 5: Frazzled Desire: Out of Time Dianne Elise, Ph.D. Section II: Ambition Chapter 6: Women and Ambition: Psychoanalytic Perspectives Frances Arnold, Ph.D. Chapter 7: Elizabeth - Frances Arnold, Ph.D. Chapter 8: Commentary on Elizabeth: A Case of the Othering of a Woman’s Ambition Dorothy Evans Holmes, Ph.D. Chapter 9: The Case of Elizabeth: A Discussion Of Female Ambition Nancy Kulish, Ph.D. Chapter 10: Elizabeth: Appropriated Ambition…A Narrative Dionne R. Powell, M.D. Section III: Leadership Chapter 11: Leadership and Women: Opportunity Mobilized Stephanie R. Brody, Psy.D. Chapter 12: The Construction of Female Power and Leadership Frances Arnold, Ph.D. Chapter 13: Claire - Frances Arnold, Ph.D. and Stephanie R. Brody, Psy.D. Chapter 14: Feminine Agency and Identity Amid Mother-Daughter Alienation Brenda Bauer, Psy.D. Chapter 15: Women and Ambition: Our Ambivalent under-indulged Pleasure Adrienne Harris, Ph.D. Chapter 16: Discussion of Claire: Identity, conflict and subjective reality in women leaders Vivian B. Pender M.D. Chapter 17: Difference, Connection, Identification Arlene Kramer Richards, M.D.
Stephanie Brody, Psy.D. is a Supervising and Training Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry (part time), Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Associate in Psychology and Attending Psychologist, McLean Hospital. She is the author of Entering Night Country: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Loss and Resilience (Routledge, 2016). Dr. Brody maintains a private practice in Lexington, MA, USA.
Frances Arnold, Ph.D. is on the Faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and is a Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry (part time), Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Associate in Psychology and Attending Psychologist, McLean Hospital. Dr. Arnold maintains a private practice in Cambridge, MA, USA.
"This is a wonderful book, organized brilliantly to be both clinically meaningful and culturally astute. Brody and Arnold each write introductory chapters to the topic, and each contribute a detailed clinical vignette illustrative of the concepts they have in mind (women’s ambition, desire, leadership). They have then assembled a stellar group of women psychoanalysts, all leaders in the profession, to comment on the clinical work and the broader topics at hand. It is a deeply thoughtful book, and clearly its conception comes out of an abiding friendship between Brody and Arnold. That friendship—and what it speaks in terms of the editors’ care for one another and for the topics they explore—is amply evident."
—Dr. Lynne Zeavin, Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
"Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women and their Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership is a deeply informative and inspiring contribution. It is a must read for anyone interested in female psychology. The authors demonstrate an integration of desire, ambition and leadership in the very structure of their book. Stephanie Brody and Frances Arnold divide up the territory collaboratively: Brody introduces ‘desire’, Arnold introduces ‘ambition’ and they both address ‘leadership’. Their masterful approach to these topics involves a combination of their scholarly reviews of historical and theoretical thinking; clinical vignettes which bring the complex female experience of each of the three areas alive; and invited discussions of each clinical case. The discussants are ten contemporary female analysts who embody the desire to have a public voice and the agency to realize their ambitions. They, along with Brody and Arnold, constitute female leaders in psychoanalysis today. Together they offer us a brilliant synthesis of psychoanalytic thinking about the interplay of external culture, internal psychic life, interpersonal experience, and intellectual gifts that contribute to the creativity and effectiveness of women passionately engaged in their chosen areas of influence."
- Harriet Wolfe, M.D., President-elect, International Psychoanalytical Association , Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California San Francisco
"This original and essential book emerged from the rubble of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women’s Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership provides an original clinical and theoretical perspective on the forces that promote and obstruct women’s path to leadership.
The authors illuminate the complex challenges women face as they set out to take advantage of new opportunities for the exercise of ambition and leadership. The voices in this collection wisely consider both internal obstacles and external forces that obstruct the exercise of female desire, power and ambition.
Importantly, Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women’s Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership defines and elaborates a developmental pathway that has been largely neglected in psychoanalytic thinking—one encompassing the origin of ambition, the need to affect the world around you, the necessity to experience agency. In the words of one of the editors, there is an urgent need to understand "a developmental pathway whose ultimate achievement is the acquisition of the confident and robust ability to actualize aspirational goals and the movement from internal desire to action" This book makes a vital contribution towards advancing that understanding."
-Prudence Gourguechon, MD, Past President, American Psychoanalytic Association, Psychoanalytic Consultant to Business and Organizations on Leadership