The Biology of Clinical Encounters: Psychoanalysis as a Science of Mind, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Biology of Clinical Encounters

Psychoanalysis as a Science of Mind, 1st Edition

By John E. Gedo


212 pages

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In The Biology of Clinical Encounters, Gedo utilizes recent findings in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to elaborate his conception of psychobiology and to consider its implications in clinical analysis. He pursues this challenging undertaking in several directions. He illuminates the way in which psychobiology enters into his hierarchical model of mental functioning, and goes on to examine three clinical syndromes - phobias, obsessions, and affective disturbances - in which biological considerations are particularly important. Of special note are chapters examining the implications of a biological approach for clinical psychoanalysis. Gedo explores the notion of transference that grows out of attentiveness to psychobiological factors, elaborates the concept of therapeutics that follows from looking beyond mental contents, and discusses the problem of assessing clinical evidence produced by analyses informed by a psychobiological orientation. Drawing on his own analytic work of over three decades, he compares analyses conducted with a psychobiological orientation with the outcome of analyses conducted earlier in his career with a more traditional psychological approach.

A stimulating introduction to the interpenetration of the biological and the psychological in clinical work, The Biology of Clinical Encounters is quintessential Gedo: scholarly in conception, elegant in tone, provocative in import, and illuminating, always, of fundamental issues about the status of psychoanalysis as a science of mind.


"The Gedo spirit is open, questioning, probing, flexible, and eminently willing to adapt the analytic process to the needs of the patient. His reflections embrace clinical examples that are consistently illuminating and to the point."

- W. W. Meissner, M.D.

Table of Contents

I. Toward the Biology of Mind 1. The Biology of Mind: An Introduction 2. Personality in Wonderland: The Nature/Nurture Controversy Revisited II. Biology and Clinical Syndromes 3. The Hierarchical Model of Mental Functioning 4. Challenge, Apraxia, and Avoidance 5. Obsessionality, Magical Beliefs, and the Hierarchical View of Mental Life 6. Affective Disorders and the Capacity to Modulate Feeling States III. From Biology to Clinical Psychoanalysis 7. An Epistemology of Transference 8. The Psychodynamic Paradigm and Its Alternatives 9. Clinical Evidence as the Basis of Analytic Theory and Modifications of Analytic Technique 10. The Therapeutic Results of Psychoanalysis: Outcome and Technique IV: Psychoanalysis and Contemporaneity 11. Self Psychology: A Post-Kohutian View 12. Psychoanalysis Transplanted to America 13. Ilion Besieged: A Tenth Year Report

About the Author

John E. Gedo, M.D., retired in 1990 as Training and Supervising Analyst, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. His books include Conceptual Issues in Psychoanalysis (1986); The Mind in Disorder (1988); and Portraits of the Artist (1989), all published by Analytic Press

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Physiological Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General