Structures of Subjectivity : Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism book cover
2nd Edition

Structures of Subjectivity
Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism

ISBN 9780415713887
Published May 21, 2014 by Routledge
174 Pages

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Book Description

Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism, is a revised and expanded second edition of a work first published in 1984, which was the first systematic presentation of the intersubjective viewpoint – what George Atwood and Robert Stolorow called psychoanalytic phenomenology – in psychoanalysis. This edition contains new chapters tracing the further development of their thinking over the ensuing decades and explores the personal origins of their most essential ideas.

In this new edition, Atwood and Stolorow cover the philosophical and theoretical assumptions of psychoanalysis and present a broad approach that they have designated phenomenological contextualism. This approach addresses personal subjective worlds in all their richness and idiosyncrasy and focuses on their relational contexts of origin and therapeutic transformation.

Structures of Subjectivity covers the principles guiding the practice of psychoanalytic therapy from the authors' viewpoints and includes numerous detailed clinical case studies. The book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, practitioners of psychotherapy, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. It will also be of interest to scholars and students with an interest in psychoanalytic theory and practice, and its philosophical premises.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition. Preface to the First Edition. Part 1. Philosophical Context and Basic Concepts. Intersubjectivity: I. The Therapeutic Situation. Intersubjectivity: II. Development and Pathogenesis. Pathways of Concretization. Concluding Remarks. Part 2. Legacies of the Golden Age: A Memoir of a Collaboration. The Demons of Phenomenological Contextualism: A Conversation. The Tagic and the Metaphysical in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Conclusions.

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George E. Atwood is Professor of Clinical Psychology (Emeritus), Rutgers University, USA, and Founding Faculty Member, Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York. He is author of The Abyss of Madness(Routledge, 2011), and coauthor of Psychoanalytic Treatment (Analytic Press, 1987), Contexts of Being (Analytic Press, 1992), Faces in a Cloud (Jason Aronson, 1993), and Working Intersubjectively (Analytic Press, 1997).

Robert D. Stolorow is a Founding Faculty Member, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, and Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York. He is author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011) and Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Routledge, 2007), and coauthor of five other books with George Atwood.


"[A] provocative and exciting, eclectic collage of hermeneutics, structuralism, psychoanalysis, and phenomenology. The book will be a valuable possession of anyone interested in this movement." - Frederick J. Wertz, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

"Thirty years since its initial publication, Structures of Subjectivity is a ground-breaking text that continues to inspire and delight. This revised and expanded edition includes four new chapters that detail the evolution of the authors and their ideas, from intersubjectivity to phenomenology and hermeneutics. Stolorow and Atwood have inspired a generation of psychoanalysts to conceive of the clinical situation in new ways and their phenomenological contextualism has become a crucial part of the contemporary psychoanalytic canon. Their sophisticated and humane understanding of how we experience ourselves in the world provides insights into the very nature of psychological existence. This lucid text seamlessly bridges psychoanalytic practice with philosophical reflection and forms a lasting contribution to our field." - Roger Frie, Ph.D. Psy.D., Psychology Professor, Simon Fraser University, and Co-Editor, International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology

"In this wonderful book, psychoanalysis almost literally comes alive. The objectivist conceptualizations that for so long encased the beating heart of psychoanalytic insight in a stultifying jargon that obscured lived experience is replaced here by a laser focus on the subjectivity of living, breathing human beings. A signal achievement when first published, this new edition illuminates still further and more deeply." - Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in Clinical Psychology, CUNY

"Atwood and Stolorow's classic text, Structures of Subjectivity, was a landmark contribution in its first edition, and its second edition, based on four decades of collaboration, is a significant update. This is among the key texts in which the authors introduced and reworked psychoanalysis as an intersubjective psychology. Anyone interested in intersubjectivity, whether in philosophy, psychology, or psychoanalysis, should be familiar with this text which explores intersubjectivity in development, psychopathology, and in clinical psychotherapy. Atwood and Stolorow do not just 'talk the talk,' but 'walk the walk,' exploring their own subjectivity and intersubjectivity as it stimulates their theorizing and clinical practice."- Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.