Winnicott and Kohut on Intersubjectivity and Complex Disorders
New Perspectives for Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry
Given the complexity of scientific developments inside and outside the psychoanalytic field, traditional definitions of basic psychoanalytic notions are no longer sufficiently comprehensive. We need conceptualizations that encompass new clinical phenomena observed in present-day patients and that take into account contributions inside, outside, and on the boundaries of our practice.
This book discusses theoretical concepts which explain current clinical expressions that are as ineffable as they are commonplace. Our patients resort to these expressions when they feel distressed by their perception of themselves as unreal, empty, fragile, non-existent, non-desiring, doubtful about their identity, beset by feelings of futility and apathy, and emotionally numb. The book aims at contrasting the ideas of Winnicott and Kohut, which are connected with a clinical practice that sees each patient as unique and are moreover in direct contact with empirical facts, and applies them to the benefit of complex patients. These ideas facilitate the expansion of paths in both the theory and the practice of our profession.
Uniquely contrasting the works of two seminal thinkers with a Latin American perspective, Winnicott and Kohut on Intersubjectivity and Complex Disorders will be invaluable to clinicians and psychoanalysts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: My personal context. 1. Early psychic development after Freud 2. Early psychic development in the work of Winnicott and Kohut 3. Similarities and differences between Winnicott and Kohut’s approaches 4. Healthiness in Winnicott and Kohut: Deficit and conflict 5. Trauma after Freud 6. Narcissistic disorders, severely ill patients: Psychotics and borderline personalities 7. Edition-Reedition: Some thoughts based on Winnicott’s contributions to the understanding and treatment of psychosis and other severe pathologies 8. The setting and interpretation: Some thoughts on Winnicott’s concepts 9. Relational and intersubjective psychoanalysis 10. Psychiatry after Winnicott References Appendix I: Major works by Winnicott Appendix II: Relevant works by Kohut and further reading on Kohut’s ideas Index
Carlos Nemirovsky, MD, graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1969. He is a full member of the Psychoanalytical Association of Buenos Aires and IPA, a training analyst and Professor, Master of Psychoanalysis with the Psychoanalysis Institute of Mental Health, member of IARPP, and President of the Psychoanalytical Association of Buenos Aires from January, 2019.
"This is a fascinating book that shows the area of contemporary Psychoanalysis that has been devoted to the study of the suffering resulting from deficits and early trauma. In particular, the origin of Winnicott and Kohut's ideas is discussed, comparing them critically and revealing how primitive aspects are edited in the intersubjective analytical field. A useful book not only for the psychoanalyst but also for other professionals dealing with mental health."
Roosevelt Cassorla, Training Analyst of the Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo, Brazil. Sigourney Award 2017. Author of The Psychoanalyst, the Theater of Dreams and the Clinic of Enactment (Routledge)
"We must include Nemirovsky amongst the most necessary of thinkers today, ones who open up new paths for post-Freudian Psychoanalysis, following the stream established by Ferenczi. A century later, contemporary psychoanalists neither work with the same patients nor in the same way of working and listening as before. New paradigms have appeared and they oblige the analyst to create a dialogue between diverse theories. The dialogue proposed by Nemirovsky between Winnicott and Kohut concerning the basis of narcissism and the origins of our subjectivity results in creative and enriching thought which presents us with ‘new’ ways in which to consider our complex clinical work."
Martina Burdet, IPA Full Member and Training Analyst at the Madrid Psychoanalytical Association (Spain) and Member of the SPP (Société Psychanalytique de Paris). General Secretary of the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF)
"This book is a fundamental contribution which reflects contemporary clinical practice. It is a lucid exercise of rereading classic authors in the light of the problems that we currently face in our everyday work. The author constructs a dialogue between D. Winnicott and H. Kohut that provides us with a rich knowledge of the ideas of these two great pioneers of Psychoanalysis, and goes further as it opens up paths for new developments and thus constitutes an excellent example of how Psychoanalysis can grow looking to the future."
Virginia Ungar, M.D., IPA President