1st Edition

The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes Paradox and Creativity in Psychoanalysis

By Michael Parsons Copyright 2000
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    The nature of psychoanalysis seems contradictory - deeply personal, subjective and intuitive, yet requiring systematic theory and principles of technique.

    In The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes, Michael Parsons explores the tension of this paradox. As they respond to it and struggle to sustain creatively, analysts discover their individual identities. The work of outstanding clinicians such as Marion Milner and John Klauber is examined in detail. The reader also encounters oriental martial arts, greek Tragedy, the landscape painting of John Constable, a Winnicottian theory of creativity and a discussion of the significance of play in psychoanalysis. From such varied topics evolves a deepening apprehension of the nature of the clinical experience.

    Illustrated throughout , The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes will prove valuable to those in the field of psychoanalysis, and to those in the arts and humanities who are interested in contemporary psychoanalytic thinking.

    Introduction. Part I: Rigour and Freedom. Vocation and Martial Art. The Other in the Self. Suddenly Finding it Really Matters. Refinding Theory in Clinical Practice. Psychoanalytic and Personal Identity: The Garden of Forking Paths. Part II: Loss, Acceptance, Creativity. Self-knowledge Refused and Accepted: Euripides' Bacchae and Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus. The Oedipus Complex as a Lifelong Developmental Process: Sophocles' Trachiniae. The Logic of Play. Creativity, Psychoanalytic and Artistic. Psychic Reality, Negation and the Analytic Setting. Conclusion. The Dove That Returns, The Dove That Vanishes. Index.


    Michael Parsons is a training analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He works in private practice in London.

    "Few books that I know are a panoramic, kaleidoscopic, dialectically based and aphoristic as Michael Parson's The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes... a book whose style is beyond question and whose message is profoundly meaningful. This is compromised of a sustained elucidation of the paradoxical nature of our clinical work, our theories and indeed our very identities as psychoanalysts. In all these realms, Parsons presents arguments to contain polarities of deliberateness and spontaneity, knowledge and surprise, credulousness and skepticism, and discipline and freedom." - Salman Akhtar, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Volume 83

    "Whatever their theoretical allegiance, everyone who reads this impressive book will be enriched by the experience." - Margaret Arden, The Psychotherapy Review

    "... a book of clarity and poignancy... This is a very highly recommended book both because of the importance of Parsons's ideas, and because of his engaging and moving manner of telling a story." - Steven Cooper, JAPA, Vol 50 No 3, 2002