Over the course of the past 15 years, there has been a vast sea change in American psychoanalysis. It takes the form of a broad movement away from classical psychoanalytic theorizing grounded in Freud's drive theory toward models of mind and development grounded in object relations concepts. In clinical practice, there has been a corresponding movement away from the classical principles of neutrality, abstinence and anonymity toward an interactive vision of the analytic situation that places the analytic relationship, with its powerful, reciprocal affective currents, in the foreground. These developments have been evident in virtually all schools of psychoanalysis in America, from the most traditional to the most radical.
The wellspring of these innovations is the work of a group of psychoanalysts who have struggled to integrate aspects of interpersonal psychoanalysis, various British object relations theories, and psychoanalytic feminism. Although not self-selected as a school, these theorists have generated a distinct tradition of psychoanalytic thought and clinical practice that has become extremely influential within psychoanalysis in the United States.
Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition brings together for the first time the seminal papers of the major authors within this tradition. Each paper is accompanied by an introduction, in which the editors place it in its historical context, and a new afterward, in which the author suggests subsequent developments in his or her thinking. This book is an invaluable resource for any clinical practitioner, teacher or student of psychoanalysis interested in exploring the exciting developments of recent years.
Eigen, The Area of Faith in Winnicott, Lacan and Bion. Hoffman, The Patient as Interpreter of the Analyst's Experience. Stern, Unformulated Experience: From Familiar Chaos to Creative Disorder. Chodorow, Toward a Relational Individualism: The Mediation of Self Through Psychoanalysis. Greenberg, Theoretical Models and the Analyst's Neutrality. Mitchell, The Wings of Icarus: Illusion and the Problem of Narcissism. Benjamin, Recognition and Destruction: An Outline of Intersubjectivity. Ghent, Masochism, Submission, Surrender:Masochism as a Perversion of Surrender. Aron, The Patient's Experience of the Analyst's Subjectivity. Davies & Frawley, Dissociative Processes and Transference-Countertransference Paradigms in the Psychoanalytically Oriented Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Harris, Gender as Contradiction. Pizer, The Negotiation of Paradox in the Analytic Process. Stolorow & Atwood, Three Realms of the Unconscious. Bromberg, Shadow and Substance: A Relational Perspective on Clinical Process. Renik, Analytic Interaction: Conceptualizing Technique in Light of the Analyst's Irreducible Subjectivity. Spezzano, A Relational Model of Inquiry and Truth: The Place of Psychoanalysis in Human Conversation. Ogden, The Analytic Third: Working with Intersubjective Clinical Facts.
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.