Self-Analysis : Critical Inquiries, Personal Visions book cover
1st Edition

Critical Inquiries, Personal Visions

ISBN 9781138872417
Published June 23, 2015 by Routledge
316 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Mitchell, Foreword. Part I: Development of the Capacity for Self-Analysis: Exploration of our "Personal Equations." Demos, Developmental Foundations for the Capacity for Self-Analysis: Parallels in the Roles of Caregiver and Analyst. Bernardi, Does Our Self-Analysis Take Into Consideration Our Assumptions? Part II: Analytic Work and Self-Analysis. Margulies, Contemplating the Mirror of the Other: Empathy and Self-Analysis. McLaughlin, Work with Patients and the Experience of Self-Analysis. Smith, Engagements in Analysis and Their Use in Self-Analysis. Part III: Modes of Self-Analytic Activity. Wolf, Self-Analysis of a Taboo. Gedo, On Fastball Pitching, Astronomical Clocks, and Self-Cognition. Gardner, On Talking to Ourselves: Some Self-Analytical Reflections on Self-Analysis. Part IV: The Role of the Other in Self-Analysis. Eifermann, The Discovery of Real and Fantasized Audiences for Self-Analysis. Harris, Ragen, Mutual Supervision, Countertransference, and Self-Analysis. Poland, Self and Other in Self-Analysis. Part V: Self-Analysis, Writing, and Creativity. Sonnenberg, To Write or Not to Write: A Note on Self-Analysis and the Resistance to Self-Analysis. Anzieu, Beckett: Self-Analysis and Creativity. Lussier, Freud's Self-Analysis.

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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