Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Working Intersubjectively

Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice, 1st Edition

By Donna M. Orange, George E. Atwood, Robert D. Stolorow


112 pages

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From an overview of the basic principles of intersubjectivity theory, Orange, Atwood, and Stolorow proceed to contextualist critiques of the concept of psychoanalytic technique and of the myth of analytic neutrality. They then examine the intersubjective contexts of extreme states of psychological disintegration, and conclude with an examination of what it means, philosophically and clinically, to think and work contextually.

This lucidly written and cogently argued work is the next step in the development of intersubjectivity theory. In particular, it is a clinically grounded continuation of Stolorow and Atwood's Contexts of Being (TAP, 1992), which reconceptualized four foundational pillars of psychoanalytic theory -- the unconscious, mind-body relations, trauma, and fantasy -- from an intersubjective perspective. Working Intersubjectively expounds and illustrates the contextualist sensibility that grows out of this reconceptualization. Like preceding volumes in the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series by Robert Stolorow and his colleagues, it will be theoretically challenging and clinically useful to a wide readership of psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists.


"A radical and most relevant revision of psychoanalytic theory and practice informed by contemporary philosophy, developmental theory, and clinical experience. It is a clearly written and up-to-date report from theorists at one of the leading edges of psychoanalytic progress. For all who value the advancement of our field, this book is highly recommended reading."

- Ernest S. Wolf, M.D., Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago

Table of Contents

Preface. Intersubjectivity Theory and the Clinical Exchange. Beyond Technique: Psychoanalysis as a Form of Practice. The Myth of Neutrality. Contexts of Nonbeing: Varieties of the Experience of Personal Annihilation. Thinking and Working Contextually. Epilogue.

About the Series

Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series

Like its counterpart, Psychoanalytic Inquiry: A Topical Journal for Mental Health Professionals, the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series presents a diversity of subjects within a diversity of approaches to those subjects. Under the editorship of Joseph Lichtenberg, in collaboration with Melvin Bornstein and the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, the volumes in this series strike a balance between research, theory, and clinical application. We are honored to have published the works of various innovators in psychoanalysis, such as Lachmann, Fosshage, Stolorow, Orange, Sander, Wurmser, Grotstein, Jones, Brothers, Busch, and Lichtenberg, among others. 

The series includes books and monographs on mainline psychoanalytic topics, such as sexuality, narcissism, trauma, homosexuality, jealousy, envy, and varied aspects of analytic process and technique.  In our efforts to broaden the field of analytic interest, the series has incorporated and embraced innovative discoveries in infant research, self psychology, intersubjectivity, motivational systems, affects as process, responses to cancer, borderline states, contextualism, postmodernism, attachment research and theory, medication, and mentalization. As further investigations in psychoanalysis come to fruition, we seek to present them in readable, easily comprehensible writing.

After 25 years, the core vision of this series remains the investigation, analysis and discussion of developments on the cutting edge of the psychoanalytic field, inspired by a boundless spirit of inquiry.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health