Soul on the Couch: Spirituality, Religion, and Morality in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Soul on the Couch

Spirituality, Religion, and Morality in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

Edited by Charles Spezzano, Gerald J. Gargiulo


256 pages

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pub: 2003-04-01
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Ever since Freud put religion on the couch in "The Future of an Illusion," there has been an uneasy peace, with occasional skirmishes, between these two great disciplines of subjectivity. As prime meaning givers, God and the unconscious have vied for supremacy in our thinking about ourselves, especially our thinking about our human nature, our moral stature, and our destiny. Freud, in his bold manner, found projection, fear, and denial to be the wellspring of religion's domination over man. In analogous fashion, those giving primacy to the soul over the unconscious have long dismissed psychoanalysis as mechanistic, reductionistic, and hence inadequate to the examination of spirituality. Soul on the Couch is premised on the belief that discourse about the soul and discourse from the couch can inform, and not simply ignore, one another. It brings together scholars and psychoanalysts at the forefront of an interdisciplinary dialogue that is vitally important to the growth of both disciplines. Their essays are not only models of reflective inquiry; they also illuminate the syntheses that emerge when analysts and scholars of religion bridge the gap that has long separated them and speak to one another.

Table of Contents

Foreword - James W. Jones

Introduction - Gerald J. Gargiulo and Charles Spezzano

Inner Mind/Outer Mind and the Quest for the "I": Spirituality Revisited - Gerald J. Gargiulo

Self-Reparation in Religious Experience and Creativity - Kevin Fauteux

The Patient Who Was Touched By and Knew Nothing About God - Steven H. Knoblauch

Formulation, Psychic Space, and Time: New Dimensions in Psychoanalysis and Jewish Spirituality - Daniel J. Rothenberg

Psychoanalysis Is Self-Centered - Jeffrey B. Rubin

Coming to Life: The Interplay of Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism - Joseph Bobrow

The Confluence of Psychoanalysis and Religion: A Personal View - Stephen Friedlander

Transcendence and Intersubjectivity: The Patient's Experience of the Analyst's Spirituality - Randall Lehmann Sorenson

On the Horizon of Authenticity: Toward a Moral Account of Psychoanalytic Therapy - Joel Greifinger

Afterword - Charles Spezzano

About the Series

Relational Perspectives Book Series

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 (1983) 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 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, 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 Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors 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. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and 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 he promoted new voices across the generations.  

Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health