The Purloined Self : Interpersonal Perspectives in Psychoanalysis book cover
1st Edition

The Purloined Self
Interpersonal Perspectives in Psychoanalysis

ISBN 9781138101661
Published October 11, 2016 by Routledge
290 Pages

SAVE $17.69
was $58.95
USD $41.26

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Purloined Self: Interpersonal Perspectives in Psychoanalysis brings together nineteen essays in updated form, still as relevant, witty and informative today as when the book originally published.

Edgar Levenson is a key figure in the development of Interpersonal psychoanalysis and his ideas remain influential. This book covers his seminal writing on theoretical topics such as models of psychoanalysis, Harry Stack Sullivan’s theories, and the nature of change, as well as his more familiar focus on practical analytic topics such as transference, supervision, and the use of the self in psychoanalytic clinical work.

The content ranges from more technical articles on psychoanalysis and general systems theory, the holographic dimensions of psychoanalytic change; on to issues of metapsychology; and then to articles devoted to examining the nuances of the therapeutic praxis. The general thrust of the book is in the Interpersonal tradition and is a major contribution to a contemporary elaboration of post-Sullivanian Interpersonalism, and of the two-person model of psychoanalysis that has come to permeate the entire field.

With a new foreword by Donnel Stern, himself a major name in current Interpersonal analysis, this book gives a comprehensive overview of Levenson’s work, and its continued relevance in contemporary psychoanalytic thought. The Purloined Self is highly readable: the author’s witty essayist style and original perspective on its material has made it appealing across a wide range of readerships. It will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as undergraduate and advanced postgraduate students in these fields.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments by Edgar Levenson

Foreword, by Donnel Stern, Ph.D..

Preface, by Alan Slomowitz, Ph.D.


1 Changing Concepts of Intimacy in Psychoanalytic Practice

2 A Holographic Model of Psychoanalytic Change

3 Psychoanalysis: Cure or Persuasion?

4 General Systems Theory: Model or Muddle?

5 A Perspective on Responsibility

6 Language and Healing

7 More Different Than Alike: Speculations on the
Uniqueness of the Psychoanalytic Experience

8 Facts or Fantasies: On the Nature of Psychoanalytic Data

9 Follow the Fox: An Inquiry into the Vicissitudes of Psychoanalytic Supervision

10 Playground or Playpen

11 Harry Stack Sullivan: The Web and the Spider

12 The Interpersonal (Sullivanian) Model

13 An Interpersonal Perspective

14 The Purloined Self

15 The Pursuit of the Particular: On the Psychoanalytic Inquiry

16 Show and Tell: The Recursive Order of Transference

17 Real Frogs in Imaginary Gardens: Facts and Fantasies in Psychoanalysis

18 Whatever Happened to the Cat? Interpersonal Perspectives on the Self

19 Character, Personality, and the Politics of Change

Bibliography of Edgar A. Levenson, M. D.

View More



Edgar A. Levenson is Fellow Emeritus, Training, Supervisory Analyst and Faculty at the William Alanson White Institute. He is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at the NYU Graduate Studies Division, Honorary Fellow at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, Honorary Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Life Fellow of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Winner of the 2006 Mary S. Sigourney Award, he is author of over one hundred and ten publications, including Fallacy of Understanding (1972) and The Ambiguity of Change (1983).

Alan Slomowitz, Ph.D., is a graduate of the Division I program in Psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute. He is a Supervisor of Psychotherapy at the White Institute, on the Editorial Board of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and the Internet Editor of the Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Action blog. Dr. Slomowitz is in private practice in New York City.


"Who else combines so much playfulness together with deeply felt experience? Psychoanalysis has in Edgar Levenson a master critic and renewer."–Leston L. Havens, M.D. (1924-2011)