The Voice of the Analyst: Narratives on Developing a Psychoanalytic Identity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Voice of the Analyst

Narratives on Developing a Psychoanalytic Identity, 1st Edition

Edited by Linda Hillman, Therese Rosenblatt


216 pages

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The Voice of the Analyst contains personal narratives by twelve psychoanalysts, each taking the reader through his or her unique path toward developing a voice and identity as an analyst. All come from different backgrounds, theoretical orientations and stages of their careers. The narratives are courageous and uncommonly revealing in a profession that demands so much reserve and anonymity from its practitioners. This book demonstrates that the analyst’s work is a product of their characters as well as training and theory. 

The narrative form in this book offers a refreshing and necessary companion to the theoretical and clinical writing that dominates the field. The editors show the importance of developing a unique voice and identity if one is to function well as an analyst. This endeavor cannot be accomplished solely through technical training, especially with the isolation that characterizes clinical practice. There are pressures that analysts experience alone in their practice, from patients and themselves as well as other professionals, forces that render technical training and theory alone inadequate in facilitating the development of one’s analytic voice and identity. Enter the form of the personal narrative presented in this book. 

This fascinating compilation of narratives shows how the contributors bear striking similarities and differences to one another. Despite their different backgrounds, they display commonality in their sensitivity towards mental and emotional states and their wish to heal suffering. However, they also exemplify wide differences in motivations, interests and what makes them tick as psychoanalysts. The Voice of the Analyst will be a great companion book for established psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and those in training, as well as mental health professionals keen to understand what it takes to become a psychoanalyst and to enhance their personal and professional development.


"Among the most significant shifts in the recent history of psychoanalysis is the recognition that it is a personal, subjective, and intersubjective endeavor rather than an objective instrument applied with technical rationality by a neutral expert. This emphasis on the therapist’s character and subjectivity has significant implications for psychoanalytic education and for the ongoing development of the analyst. In this inspired collection, Linda Hillman and Therese Rosenblatt have brought together a variety of clinicians whose rich and diverse narratives reflect on their personal development as analysts. The Voice of the Analyst will be of interest to all of us who love psychoanalysis and are concerned with the formation of analytic identity, and it will be essential reading for those pursuing, providing, or considering psychoanalytic training as a lifelong form of continuing professional education and personal growth."-Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.

"This is a wonderful book! It is a treasure trove of deeply considered personal narratives, replete with insight, humanity, and modesty. The reader is transported from culture to culture, through different historical periods, fields of inquiry, and into varied economic circumstances through the stories of these twelve psychoanalysts of different ages, nationalities, and theoretical perspectives. Whether it is through the playing of a sport, or the writing of a poem or essay, or a transformational moment in a personal clinical treatment, these authors tell us how they became the psychoanalysts they are – excellently edited and integrated by Drs Hillman and Rosenblatt. It was a treat to read."-Marsha H. Levy-Warren, Ph.D., Faculty and Clinical Consultant, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

Table of Contents

1 Prelude NARRATIVES 2 All Origins are Suspect: Becoming a Psychoanalyst Francisco González 3 From Ebbets Field to Eighty-Second Street: Finding My Way Ted Jacobs 4 Psychoanalysis and Me Lissa Weinstein 5 The Voice Endures Mitchell Wilson 6 Becoming Myself: Resuming a Derailed Adolescence Therese Rosenblatt 7 Becoming a Psychoanalyst Jack Drescher 8 Hiding in Plain Sight Linda Hillman 9 Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat (or How I became a Psychoanalyst) Carolyn Ellman 10 Developmental Struggles in Psychoanalytic Training: Developing a Psychoanalytic Identity Jonathan Eger 11How We Describe What we Remember Rachel Altstein 12 My Psychoanalytic Self: Discovery, Embrace, and Ongoing Formation Dorothy Evans Holmes 13 Untranslatables Spyros Orfanos REFLECTIONS by the Editors 14 Themes and Variations 15 Rethinking Psychoanalytic Training and Beyond 16 Coda

About the Editors

Linda Hillman, PhD, practices as a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York City and Westchester County. She treats adults, adolescents, children, and couples. She is a Clinical Supervisor for the City University of New York, and a member of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She has published on the psychological implications of teaching writing as well as co-authored several papers on group relations. She is also a published poet and has played leadership roles in a number of volunteer community organizations focused on youth, mental health, and education.

Therese Rosenblatt, PhD,is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and Westchester County, New York. She treats adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. She leads parenting groups privately and at the Early Childhood Development Center in New York City. She is on the faculty of the Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She is Adjunct Clinical Supervisor at Yeshiva University and Pace University in New York and an active member of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

About the Series

Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series

When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.

The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.

But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health