The "relational turn" has transformed the field of psychoanalysis, with an impact that cuts across different schools of thought and clinical modalities.
In the six years following publication of Volume 1, Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition, relational theorizing has continued to develop, expand, and challenge the parameters of clinical discourse. It has been a period of loss, with the passing of Stephen A. Mitchell and Emmanuel Ghent, but also a period of great promise, marked by the burgeoning publication of relational books and journals and the launching of relational training institutes and professional associations.
Volume 2, Relational Psychoanalysis: Innovation and Expansion, brings together key papers of the recent past that exemplify the continuing growth and refinement of the relational sensibility. In selecting these papers, Editors Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris have stressed the shared relational dimension of different psychoanalytic traditions, and they have used such commonalities to structure the best recent contributions to the literature. The topics covered in Volume 2 reflect both the evolution of psychoanalysis and the unique pathways that leading relational writers have been pursuing and in some cases establishing.
"In their introduction Aron and Harris make it clear that they are aware of the dangers of relational psychoanalysis becoming a school or of being vague and eclectic. Following the sensibilities of the first volume, Aron and Harris continue to refer to a tradition rather than a school." - Psychologist-Psychoanalyst
"The papers published in Volume 2 reflect an important aspect of psychoanalytic evolution, and indicate some of the pathways that relational authors have been pursuing. This volume attests the growth and discrimination of the relational sensibility. There is for me a kernel of truth in almost all the contributions. In sum, I consider this collection an important contribution to our field. The papers in it look beyond their immediate concerns to address vital questions about the history of theoretical and technical change in psychoanalysis, about comparative psychoanalysis, and about the sociology of psychoanalytic knowledge. It meets for me the criterion of being greater than the sum of its parts, and I suspect that it will be useful and enlightening for psychoanalysts of all persuasions, at all levels of training and expertise." - Arnold D. Richards, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Vol. 54, No. 4, 2006
"The volume provides a valuable resource collection of important papers in the historical development of the relational approach to analysis." - W.W. Meissner, Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Vol. 71, No. 3, Summer 2007
Aron, Harris, Introduction. Part I: Therapeutic Action. Ehrenberg, The Intimate Edge of Therapeutic Relatedness. Slochower, Holding: Something Old and Something New. Cooper, Levit, Old and New Objects in Fairbairnian and American Relational Theory. Slavin, Kriegman, Why the Analyst Needs to Change: Toward a Theory of Conflict, Negotiation, and Mutual Imfluence in the Therapeutic Process. Maroda, Show Some Emotion: Completing the Cycle of Affective Communication. Berman, Psychoanalytic Supervision: The Intersubjective Development. Jacobs, On Misreading and Misleading Patients: Some Reflections on Communications, Miscommunications, and Countertransference Enactments. Part II: Relational Perspectives on Development. Beebe, Lachmann, Representation and Internalization in Infancy: Three Principles of Salience. Fonagy, Target, Mentalization and the Changing Aims of Child Psychoanalysis. Coates, Having a Mind of One's Own and Holding the Other in Mind: Commentary on Paper by Peter Fonagy and Mary Target. Lyons-Ruth, The Two-Person Unconscious: Intersubjective Dialogue, Enactive Relational Representation, and the Emergence of New Forms of Relational Organization. Part III: Social and Cultural Dimensions of Relationality. Altman, Psychoanalysis and the Urban Poor. Dimen, Perversion Is Us: Eight Notes. Leary, Race, Self-Disclosure, and "Forbidden Talk": Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Practice. Corbett, More Life: Centrality and Marginality in Human Development.
The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell (1983) to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and he promoted new voices across the generations.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.