The Analyst's Analyst Within is the most illuminating study to date of how psychoanalysts' experiences with their own analysts affect their lives, their loves, and their evolving professional identities. A gifted interviewer with equally gifted interview subjects, Tessman samples different gender combinations and age ranges in showing how the values typifying different eras of psychoanalytic theorizing enter into the meaning and impact of training analyses.
Tessman's findings are striking, and they do not end with her discovery of startling differences according to the decade during which a training analysis took place. She also found that neither the theoretical orientation of the training analyst nor his or her technical preferences predicted whether, years later, the analysis would be remembered as satisfying or dissatisfying, as growth promoting or thwarting. Rather, it was the quality of affective engagement that became reliably present, with the figure of the training analyst, inscribed in all his or her particularity, accounting for the perceived sense of a truly productive analytic experience.
Tessman's research program, which encompasses her methodology, her skill as an interviewer, and the wisdom and clarity of thought of her participants, lifts this work well beyond the perfunctory debates about psychoanalytic training that recur in the journal literature. The power of The Analyst's Analyst Within resides in compelling individual narratives in which analysts revisit their own treatment past - and the analyst within - with candor, vividness, and often great poignancy. The result is a book that not only supersedes previous studies of the training analysis but also opens a new vista on how and why analysis works when it works and fails when it fails.
"Tessman's task and methodology are extraordinary. She poses sophisticated study questions in order to comprehend how our analysts become memorable to us and how they fare over the years. But in the process she probes a related set of issues that involve how analysts and patients get to know each other, how they learn about each other's states of being, and how these states are affectively registered in the other. Especially impressive is her exploration of how patients get to know themselves partly through getting to know their analyst's inner states and their analyst's knowledge of their states. What is rare is the combination of a structured exploratory study of such matters with the nuanced, subtle interpretations of an obviously gifted clinician. This book should be read by anyone interested in the fate of the analyst over time, but also in the analytic process as it lives and breathes in the moment."
- Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D., Author, Objects of Hope (Analytic Press, 2000)
"Lora Tessman has provided a penetrating look at the fate of the transference after termination. In addition to offering us a microscopic view of the ex-analysand's inner world, she has also raised some provocative questions about the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis. I highly recommend this new volume to analysts and analytically oriented therapists."
- Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis, Baylor
"This is a deeply satisfying scholarly report of a brilliant piece of qualitative research. It has opened my eyes to aspects of the analytic process that have been obscure to me after a quarter of a century behind and many, many years on, the couch. It is an essential read not just for all practitioners but for anyone with curiosity about the true nature of the psychoanalytic process."
- Peter Fonagy, Ph.D.
Overview. Conversations and Process. Satisfaction and the Analyst. In the Mind's Eye. Gendered Desires: An Introduction. Women with Male Analysts. Men with Male Analysts. Men with Female Analysts. Women with Female Analysts.