1st Edition

Self-Analysis Critical Inquiries, Personal Visions

By James W. Barron Copyright 1993
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    Self-Analysis is a fascinating reprise on the mode of disciplined self-inquiry that gave rise to psychoanalysis. From Freud's pioneering self-analytic efforts onward, self-analysis has been central to psychoanalytic training and psychoanalytic practice.  Yet, only in recent years have analysts turned their attention to this wellspring of Freud's creation.

    The contributors to Self-Analysis represent diverse theoretical perspectives, but they share a common appreciation of the importance of self-analysis to the analytic endeavor.  Their papers encompass systematic inquiries into the capacity for self-analysis, examples of self-analysis as an aspect of clinical work, and personal reflections on the role of self-analysis in professional growth.  Among the questions explored: What do we mean by self-analysis?  To what extent and under what conditions is self-analysis possible?  How does it differ from ordinary introspection?  What are the developmental antecedents of the capacity for self-analysis?  What is the role of the "other" in self-analysis?  What are the relationships among self-analysis, writing, and creativity? 

    As Barron observes, the contributors to the book "grapple with the formidable ambiguities of self-analysis without either idealizing or devaluing its potential."  What emerges from their effort is not only an illuminating window into the psychoanalyst's subjectivity as a fact of clinical life, but a far-reaching exemplification of the ways in which self-understanding is always a constitutive part of our understanding of others.

    Foreword  -Stephen A. Mitchell
    I. Development of the Capacity for Self-Analysis: Exploration of our "Personal Equations"
    Developmental Foundations for the Capacity for Self-Analysis: Parallels in the Roles of Caregiver and Analyst - E. Virginia Demos
    Does Our Self-Analysis Take Into Consideration Our Assumptions?
    -Ricardo Bernardi and Beatriz de Leon de Bernardi
    II. Analytic Work and Self-Analysis
    Contemplating the Mirror of the Other: Empathy and Self-Analysis - Alfred Margulies
    Work with Patients and the Experience of Self-Analysis - James T. McLaughlin
    Engagements in Analysis and Their Use in Self-Analysis - Henry F. Smith
    III. Modes of Self-Analytic Activity
    Self-Analysis of a Taboo - Ernest S. Wolf
    On Fastball Pitching, Astronomical Clocks, and Self-Cognition - John E. Gedo
    On Talking to Ourselves: Some Self-Analytical Reflections on Self-Analysis - Robert Gardner
    IV. The Role of the Other in Self-Analysis
    The Discovery of Real and Fantasized Audiences for Self-Analysis - Rivka R. Eifermann
    Mutual Supervision, Countertransference, and Self-Analysis - Adrienne Harris and Therese Ragen
    Self and Other in Self-Analysis - Warren S. Poland
    V. Self-Analysis, Writing, and Creativity
    To Write or Not to Write: A Note on Self-Analysis and the Residstance to Self-Analysis - Stephen M. Sonnenberg
    Beckett: Self-Analysis and Creativity - Didier Anzieu
    Freud's Self-Analysis - Martine Lussier


    A graduate and faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East, James W. Barron, Ph.D., has broad interests in psychoanalytic education.  Past president of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the APA, the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education, Dr. Barron is editor of the Psychologist Psychoanalyst and coeditor of the volume Interface of Psychoanalysis and Psychology (1992).  He maintains a private practice and is an Instructor in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. 

    "This is one of the most valuable books on psychoanalysis to appear in many years. The contributors offer a fascinating overview both of the way that analysts go about analyzing themselves and the way that their psychology resonates with that of their patients."

    - Theodore Jacobs, M.D., New York Psychoanalytic Institute