Time, Space and Phantasy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Time, Space and Phantasy

1st Edition

By Rosine Jozef Perelberg


248 pages

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Time, Space, and Phantasy examines the connections between time, space, phantasy and sexuality in clinical practice. It explores the subtleties of the encounter between patient and analyst, addressing how aspects of the patient’s unconscious past are actualised in the present, producing new meanings that can be re-translated to the past.

Perelberg’s analysis of Freud’s Multi-dimensional model of temporality suggests that he always viewed the constitution of the individual as non-linear. In Freud’s formulations, the individual is decentred and ruled by different temporalities, most of which escape their consciousness. Perelberg identifies the similarities between this and Einstein’s theory of relativity which states that rather than being absolute, time depends on the relative position and speed of the observing individual suggesting that rather than being a reality, time is an abstraction, connecting objects and events.

Throughout this text, Perelberg draws together connections between time, mental space, and phantasy showing how time is constantly reshaped in the light of new events and experiences. This book will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychologists, and social workers.


"Overall, Time, Space and Phantasy is a rich and thought-provoking book that skillfully weaves metapsychological and clinical material into a challenging Freudian meditation on temporality and its role in invalidating any simplistic notions of linear causality in human experience. It forces us to critically consider what we know as practitioner-researchers, how we know what we claim to, and what the limits to this knowledge are." - Gavin Ivey, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2008

"Time, Space and Phantasy is a tour de force of psychoanalytic and anthropological scholarship and clinical acumen. I highly recommend it to all those who want to deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis."Donald Campbell, Past President of the British Psychoanalytical Society, UK

"This is a deeply intelligent and original book yet written in a clear and simple style which avoids jargon. … This exceptional book has many remarkable clinical illustrations and closes with a beautiful chapter, written with Bella Jozef… followed by thoughts on creativity in psychoanalytical research." - Marilia Aisenstein,Past President of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, France

"The breadth of Rosine Perelberg’s anthropological and cultural background makes her one of the most interesting voices in analytic writing today." - Michael Parsons, Training Analyst, Fellow of the British Institute of Psycho-Analysis, UK

"This is an exceptional volume that establishes lines of communication between colleagues from countries that are marked by different traditions. Through this, Rosine Perelberg makes her own original and creative contribution to psychoanalysis." - From the Preface by Andre Green, Past President of the Societe Psychanalytique de Paris; International Psychoanalytic Association Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award

Table of Contents

Part I: Theory and Clinical Practice. Time and Space in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology. Après Coup and Unconscious Phantasy. The Oracles in Dreams: The Past and the Future in the Present. "To Be Or Not To Be" – Here: A Woman’s Denial of Time and Memory. Identity and Identification in the Analysis of a Violent Young Man. Full and Empty Spaces in the Analytic Process. Après Coup and the Controversial Discussions. Time and Space in Psychoanalytic Listening. Part II: Applications. Jozef, Time and Memory in One Hundred Years of Solitude. "What Can You Possibly Learn From Babies?" The Infant and the Infantile.

About the Author

Rosine Jozef Perelberg, PhD is a Training Analyst and Supervisor, Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and Visiting Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London. She undertook her PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. Between 1989 and 1999 she was an Associate Editor New Library of Psychoanalysis and on the Editorial Board International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Amongst her publications, Psychoanalytic Understanding of Violence and Suicide (also in the NLP), Dreaming and Thinking, Time and Memory and Freud: A Modern Reader.

She won an International prize in 1991 for her paper "What can you possibly learn from babies", published in chapter 10 of this book.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

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