The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen A. Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, feminism, queer theory, sociocultural studies and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Adrienne Harris, Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. Committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts, he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and promoted new voices across the generations. Mitchell was later joined by the late Lewis Aron, also a visionary and influential writer, teacher and leading thinker in relational psychoanalysis.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, those that extend and develop that tradition, and works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast them with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts, along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision. Our aim is to enable a deepening of relational thinking while reaching across disciplinary and social boundaries in order to foster an inclusive and international literature.
The Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Recasting the Essentials
Psychoanalysis as an Ethical Process
By E. Virginia Demos
March 01, 2019
The Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy explores central issues in current clinical work, using the theories put forward by Silvan Tomkins and presenting them in detail, as well as integrating them with the most up-to-date neuroscience findings and infancy research,...
By Robert P. Drozek
February 18, 2019
What role does ethics play in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy? For most of its history, psychoanalysis has viewed ethics as a "side issue" in clinical work—occasionally relevant, but not central to therapeutic action. In Psychoanalysis as an Ethical Process, Robert Drozek ...
By Pamela Cooper-White, Felicity Brock Kelcourse
February 04, 2019
Sabina Spielrein stands as both an important and tragic figure—misunderstood or underestimated by her fellow analysts (including Jung and Freud) and often erased in the annals of psychoanalytic history. Her story has not only been largely forgotten, but actively (though unconsciously) repressed as ...
By Carlo Bonomi
January 17, 2019
The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis Volume II explores how the unformulated trauma associated with surgery performed on Emma Eckstein’s genitalia, and the hallucinations that Eckstein experienced, influenced Freud’s self-analysis, oriented his biological speculations, and significantly ...
By Steven Seidman, Alan Frank
November 05, 2018
Debate over gender and especially the lives of men is currently at a fever pitch, particularly in the United States. New perspectives that capture the complexity of men and a rapidly changing gender landscape are therefore critical today. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary American Men challenges ...
By Sabina Spielrein, Ruth I. Cape, Raymond Burt
August 14, 2018
Sabina Spielrein’s writings explore the burning topics in the early days of psychoanalysis while providing insight into the culture of the time and her own personal struggles. After a comprehensive historical and biographical introduction to Spielrein by John Launer, The Essential Writings of ...
By Lewis Aron, Sue Grand, Joyce A. Slochower
June 13, 2018
Self-examination and self-critique: for psychoanalytic patients, this is the conduit to growth. Yet within the field, psychoanalysts haven’t sufficiently utilized their own methodology or subjected their own preferred approaches to systematic and critical self-examination. Across theoretical ...
By Lewis Aron, Sue Grand, Joyce A. Slochower
June 06, 2018
Decentering Relational Theory: A Comparative Critique invites relational theorists to contemplate the influence, overlaps, and relationship between relational theory and other perspectives. Self-critique was the focus of De-Idealizing Relational Theory. Decentering Relational Theory pushes critique...
By Robert Grossmark
April 18, 2018
Psychoanalysts increasingly find themselves working with patients and states that are not amenable to verbal and dialogic engagement. Such patients are challenging for a psychoanalytic approach that assumes that the patient relates in the verbal realm and is capable of reflective function. Both the...
By Christopher Bonovitz, Andrew Harlem
February 20, 2018
Developmental Perspectives in Child Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy incorporates recent innovations in developmental theory and research into our understanding of the nature of change in child psychotherapy. Diverse psychoanalytic ideas and individual styles are represented, challenging the ...
By Tom Wooldridge
January 02, 2018
Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders: When Words Fail and Bodies Speak offers a compilation of some of the most innovative thinking on psychoanalytic approaches to the treatment of eating disorders available today. In its recognition of the multiple meanings of food, weight, and body shape,...
By Eric R. Severson, David M. Goodman
December 06, 2017
Memories and Monsters explores the nature of the monstrous or uncanny, and the way psychological trauma relates to memory and narration. This interdisciplinary book works on the borderland between psychology and philosophy, drawing from scholars in both fields who have helped mould the bourgeoning ...