This book brings together an engaging study, using Emmanuel Ghent’s collected papers, of theoretical and personal origins of the relational turn in psychoanalysis. Emmanuel Ghent was one of the founders of relational psychoanalysis, and his ideas have been hugely influential. However, he published sparingly and his papers are scattered across a range of sources. In this book, his key writings are reproduced, along with analyses and critiques by major contemporary psychoanalytic figures such as Adam Phillips, Jessica Benjamin, Lew Aron, Adrienne Harris and Jody Davies.
This book provides a thorough examination of the key tenets of Ghent’s thinking and the continued importance of his theoretical and clinical work for the next generation of psychoanalysts.
Introduction Victoria Demos and Adrienne Harris
Part One: Core Papers and Commentaries
Credo — The Dialectics of One-Person and Two-Person Psychologies (1989)
Masochism, Submission, Surrender—Masochism as a Perversion of Surrender (1990)
Paradox and Process (1992)
C. SETH WARREN
Interaction in the Psychoanalytic Situation (1995)
Wish, Need, Drive: Motive in the Light of Dynamic Systems Theory and Edelman's Selectionist Theory (2002)
Part Two: Early Writings
CHAIM F. SHATAN, BENJAMIN BRODY, EMMANUEL GHENT
Part Three: In Ghent’s Words
Part Four: Reminiscences
Afterward On What We Need: A Celebration of the Work of Emmanuel Ghent
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.