New Books In Psychoanalysis

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Synopsis

Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books

Episodes

  • Lawrence J. Friedman, “The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet” (Columbia UP, 2013)

    02/01/2014 Duration: 52min

    Erich Fromm, one of the most widely known psychoanalysts of the previous century, was involved in the exploration of spirituality throughout his life. His landmark book The Art of Loving, which sold more than six million copies worldwide, is seen as a popular handbook on how to relate to others and how to overcome the narcissism ingrained in every human being. In his book The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet (Columbia University Press, 2013), Harvard professor Lawrence J. Friedman explores the life of this towering figure of psychoanalytic thought, and his position in the humanistic movement, which he belonged to. He gives an overview of the religious thought Fromm was inspired by, from Judaism to the Old Testament to Buddhist philosophy. Fromm’s credo was that true spirituality is expressed in how we relate to others, and how to bring joy and peace to the global community. His plea that love will be the vehicle to realize one’s true purpose was the central message of his view on spirituality. Learn more

  • Lewis Aron and Karen Starr, “A Psychotherapy for the People: Towards a Progressive Psychoanalysis” (Routledge, 2013)

    29/11/2013 Duration: 01h46min

    In this interview, held before a live audience at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York City, Lewis Aron and Karen Starr discuss their wide ranging history of the roots of conservatism in American psychoanalysis, A Psychotherapy for the People: Towards a Progressive Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2013). Beginning with the nefarious impact of anti-semitism on Freud’s theorizing, the authors argue that in an attempt to protect his ideas from being devalued as emanating from the mind a Jewish thinker, he phallicized them, leading to his famous maxim regarding the repudiation of femininity as the bedrock of sexuality and civilization. Adding to the mix of what has made psychoanalysis in America less than radical, Aron and Starr argue that the impact of the Holocaust may have fomented the development of a kind manic defense which took the form of ego psychology (with its idea of the autonomous and unassailable ego). What becomes clear is that a tendency towards binary thinking (male/female, autonomo

  • Bruce Reis and Robert Grossmark, eds., “Heterosexual Masculinities” (Routledge, 2009)

    12/08/2013 Duration: 58min

    Here at New Books in Psychoanalysis we are celebrating the Summer of Men! We continue our inquiry into the topic of masculinity in psychoanalytic thought as we converse with Robert Grossmark and Bruce Reis about Heterosexual Masculinities: Contemporary Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Gender Theory (Routledge, 2009). The book is devoted to rethinking notions of male heterosexuality from within a psychoanalytic standpoint. Often in the field we think of boys as becoming masculinized by repudiating their identification with their mothers and the female world. This collection of essays begs to differ; boys never give up those identifications and it may be to their benefit that they do not do so. This collection argues that straight guys have been, in a certain way, fall guys–the ones in which other, more marginalized identities, define themselves in opposition to. So what happens when the known quantity proves to be less knowable? This is some of the terrain taken up by this book. Also discussed here are the pr

  • Lawrence R. Samuel, “Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America” (Nebraska UP, 2013)

    20/06/2013 Duration: 44min

    Before the Second World War, very few Americans visited psychologists or psychiatrists. Today, millions and millions of Americans do. How did seeing a “shrink” become, quite suddenly, a typical part of the “American Experience?” In his fascinating book Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America (Nebraska University Press, 2013), Lawrence R. Samuel examines the arrival, remarkable growth, and transformation of psychoanalysis in the United States. As Samuel shows, Americans have a kind of love-hate relationship with their “shrinks”: sometimes they love them and sometimes they loath them. The “shrinks” seem to know that their clients are fickle, and so they “re-brand” their technique with some regularity. Sometimes it’s “analysis,” sometimes it’s “therapy,” sometimes it’s just “counseling.” But, regardless of what it’s called, it’s always some variation on the “talking cure” and it can always be traced to Freud. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Donald Moss, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Man: Psychoanalysis and Masculinity” (Routledge, 2012)

    10/06/2013 Duration: 01h01s

    Psychoanalysis, beginning with Freud, has been, albeit perhaps implicitly, a theory of masculinity. Freud’s Oedipus Complex, for example, charts the development of masculine identity in the boy while leaving the girl’s pathway to femininity less fully explicated. And let yourself recall that Freud’s immortal question was not “what do men want” was it? Nevertheless, according to Donald Moss, contemporary psychoanalysis has many glaring blind spots when it comes to thinking about men. Part of what Moss addresses in this interview is the experience of being a male analyst looking at and listening to men. He argues that this kind of male-male analytic pairing has ended up somehow sidelined and so remains under-thought and under-theorized by analysts. His book is an attempt to open an apparently tightly shut if not hidden door, (think “The Cask of Amontillado”) in the hopes of both shedding light and broadening our conceptual frameworks for thinking about manhood, masculinity and maleness. Moss draws our attenti

  • Christopher Bollas, “Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown” (Routledge, 2013)

    26/03/2013 Duration: 59min

    What if analysts took steps to keep their analysands out of the hospital when they were beginning to breakdown? What would that look like? In Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown (Routledge, 2013), the eminent psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas, walks us through that process. Beginning with his treatment of psychotic and manic depressive patients in the 1970s in London, Bollas sought to increase patients psychoanalytic sessions and to work with a team of psychiatrists and social workers who were analytically savvy. When these fragile patients disturbances became heightened, Bollas et co. worked in such a way that none of his patients needed to endure the shock and awe of hospitalization. Now, 40 years later, he has published a book that looks deeply into a way of working that confidently declares psychoanalysis to be THE treatment of choice for the person breaking down. By expanding sessions from five times a week to twice a day seven days a week or from morning to early evening, he dis

  • Jon Mills, “Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis” (Routledge, 2011)

    19/12/2012 Duration: 57min

    In this interview, Canadian philosopher, psychologist, and psychoanalyst Jon Mills speaks with us about his book Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysiss (Routledge, 2011). In the book he discusses current tenets in North American psychoanalytic thinking and practice that he finds to be concerning and problematic. Focusing on the relational and intersubjective turn currently popular in the field, he articulates what he believes are the faulty ways in which some contemporary analytic thinkers make use of philosophy and, therein, particularly post-modernism. Though relationally influenced himself, in that he is drawn towards a more flexible, less removed approach in the consulting room, he questions the denigration of the drives and what appears to be a seeming disinterest in life before the acquisition of language. Mills wonders about the ways in which ideas associated with post-modernism and the practice of a psychoanalytic hermeneutics have been used to drum thinking about the body out of psy

  • Sandra Buechler, “Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career” (Routledge, 2012)

    25/08/2012 Duration: 55min

    In Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career (Routledge, 2012), Sandra Buechler suggests that shame and loss are key components of a clinical career, and we would be best served to accept their presence and get used to their ongoing tug and pull. Indeed, clinical training is rife with shame. Buechler reminds us that in training to be a clinician, unlike most other professions, one must investigate one’s defenses, one’s inner conflicts and do so in public. How to mitigate the shame that ensues? She suggests that we can certainly reduce shame about shame. Shame then must be accepted as an ineluctable aspect of the training. The same with loss: losses of patients, all in good time or out of the blue, also prompt grief reactions and perhaps more shame in the clinician. Shame about shame begets rage, and according to her mentor, Sullivan, anger helps us to cohere in the face of dissolution. She wonders aloud whether shame and loss, suffered in silence, don’t end up prompting us to attack col

  • John Burnham, “After Freud Left: A Century of Psychoanalysis in America” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

    31/07/2012 Duration: 56min

    Perhaps most of us interested in psychoanalysis in the United States have the idea that, in 1909, when Freud lectured at Clark University, his first and only visit to this country, the profession was launched. That Freud was perhaps an afterthought to a larger celebration at the school may stun us, but truth be told that appears to be the case. In After Freud Left: A Century of Psychoanalysis in America (University of Chicago Press, 2012)–part of what John Burnham calls “The New Freud Studies”–we encounter scholars looking closely at the way in which American culture interfaced with psychoanalytic thinking. During the mid-twentieth century, for myriad reasons, (the Cold War among them), psychoanalysis was a force to be reckoned with in the States. The book, which includes essays by historians of medicine and of culture, among them Elizabeth Lunbeck, George Makari, Louis Menand, and Dorothy Ross, tells a tale of how psychoanalysis resonated with some of the major thinkers of the time–including Lionel Trilling

  • Patricia Gherovici, “Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratization of Transgenderism” (Routledge, 2010)

    21/05/2012 Duration: 01h05min

    In Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratization of Transgenderism (Routledge, 2010), Patricia Gherovici unpacks the ways in which hysteria, Lacanian-style, functions. Approaching her topic, transgenderism, from many angles, she takes us on a whirlwind tour of how the transgender turn is changing clinical thinking and practice. The person who comes into the consulting room with questions about “being in the right body” sheds light on the culture and perhaps especially the culture of psychoanalysis. Arguing against a more traditional Lacanian view that the refusal to accept sexual difference is indicative of a psychotic structure, Gherovici details why she thinks otherwise. She is passionate and informed and true to her training all at once. NBiP senses that she is an unusual psychoanalytic scholar who is exhaustive in her cross-disciplinary research and so brings to us many challenging and provocative questions. Her thinking has strong foundations and her intellectual scaffo

  • Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips, “Intimacies” (University of Chicago Press, 2008)

    19/03/2012 Duration: 54min

    In Intimacies and in this interview, Leo Bersani asks “does knowledge of the Other create a foundation for intimacy?” Troubling certain psychoanalytic models that survey the analysand’s past, gathering information about the vicissitudes of childhood, dreams, and other communications, he wonders if intimacy lies elsewhere. Reflecting on Foucault’s understanding of the relationship between knowledge and power, he suggests that intimacy is in trouble unless it is reformulated as a mode of being with, rather than a mode of knowing about. He wonders what might create a new mode of relationality altogether, and as he ponders this, he takes many fascinating detours that further illuminate his thinking. Since the confrontation with difference is what most often prompts violence, and since some schools of psychoanalytic thought place a premium on the ability to recognize the other, he suggests we embrace of a bit more narcissism of an “impersonal” variety. This part of his argument is fascinating and will give many in

  • Jamieson Webster, “The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis: On Unconscious Desire and its Sublimation” (Karnac Books, 2011)

    16/12/2011 Duration: 56min

    In this interview, the Lacanian inflected psychoanalyst, Dr. Jamieson Webster, speaks to NBIP about her new publication, The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis: On Unconscious Desire and its Sublimation (Karnac Books, 2011), a text that offers the reader/listener an opportunity to think about the recurrent anxieties that perpetually face this “impossible” profession. Interweaving her training, dreams, and encounters with the thinking of Adorno, Badiou and Lacan, the author troubles the quest for knowledge in the field of psychoanalysis, maybe particularly in its American incarnation Her book’s subtitle, “On Unconscious Desire and its Sublimation” serves as a reminder that the work of the analyst is to spend time with the ineffable, that which is imperiled, just out of reach, that which is to be reached for, perhaps, in the work of a psychoanalytic practice that aims to keep desire in circulation. Her words will give many cause to pause as she, in a sense, champions the fields perpetual endangerment, seeing in

  • Muriel Dimen (ed.), “With Culture in Mind: Psychoanalytic Stories” (Routledge, 2011)

    12/09/2011 Duration: 59min

    What’s culture got to do with psychoanlaysis? According to Muriel Dimen and Stephen Hartman, a whole lot. Dimen, editor of With Culture in Mind: Psychoanalytic Stories (Routledge, 2011), and Hartman, a contributor to the same, note that “culture is always already there.” Therefore culture and the clinic cannot be two separate places but must be, as our guests say, “interimplicated,” or folded together. With their diverse academic backgrounds, Dimen and Hartmen are the perfect pair to explain just how they are so folded and why it matters to psychoanalytic practitioners. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Steven Poser, “The Misfit” (RosettaBooks, 2011)

    31/08/2011 Duration: 57min

    While the tragic tale of Marilyn Monroe has been written many times over, her impact on her psychoanalyst, the eminent Ralph Greenson has, until now, been largely unexplored. In The Misfit (RosettaBooks, 2011), Steven Poser tries to understand how Greenson treated Monroe by putting himself in Greenson’s milieu. He attempts to find out what Greenson knew, what he thought, what he felt and how he used it all to help Monroe. What we discover is that Greenson essentially adopted Monroe, creating psychic confusion for a vulnerable woman who lacked a sense of belonging in the first place. Poser details how, in eliding the negative aspects of the transference-countertransference matrix, Greenson lost a patient and lost his own way as a clinician. In addition to discussing this tragic analytic dyad, Poser also shares his thoughts about psychoanalytic writing and research. He argues that then-current psychoanalytic theory did little to aid Greenson, or to help Greenson treat Monroe. That theory did not allow therapi

  • Susie Orbach, “Bodies” (Picador, 2009)

    15/08/2011 Duration: 57min

    “Why is the body the site of so much ongoing, current and growing attention in the West”? asks the feminist psychoanalyst and public intellectual Susie Orbach in her book Bodies (Picador, 2009). In this interview, the groundbreaking author of Fat is a Feminist Issue (inter alia)speaks to New Books in Psychoanalysis about how the body is “no longer a place we live from” but rather a place where the capitalist marketplace has hit a sort of pay dirt. From trendy diets to vaginal recalibration to liposuction, the body is big business. Indeed, as women and men feel a greater and greater need to control their bodies, losing touch with our natural appetites, and attempting to look a certain way, the market that exploits our fears and anxieties is making a fortune. Meanwhile analysts are more and more likely to encounter patients with a plethora of what Orbach calls “bodily instabilities.” She argues that the profession should take a moment to rethink what is ailing the physically unstable analysand, suggesting tha

  • Lucy Holmes, “The Internal Triangle: New Theories of Female Development” (Jason Aronson, 2007)

    08/06/2011 Duration: 54min

    In this interview we revisit the complicated female oedipal constellation, as New Books in Psychoanalysis speaks with Dr. Lucy Holmes about her book The Internal Triangle: New Theories of Female Development (Jason Aronson, 2007). According to Holmes, the “Internal triangle” is the cornerstone of the female psyche. All of us, male and female, need to separate from our mothers if we are to move beyond narcissistic merger as a way of life. Many theorists see the little boy’s “possession” of a penis as enabling him to see himself as absolutely different from his creator, whereas the little girl often has a harder time. She needs to be like her mother and yet also needs to be different from her in order to mature. According to Holmes, little girls create what she calls an “elegant solution” to the problem of separation by internalizing both mother and father. Yet, Holmes argues, this dual-internalization solution can lead to great problems later in life. Some women feel “both sides” to greatly and become hyper-em

  • Sheldon Bach, “The How-to Book for Students of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy” (Karnac Books, 2011)

    13/05/2011 Duration: 54min

    Who knew there could be a “how to” book regarding the “impossible profession”? Well, Sheldon Bach has written one. In The How-to Book for Students of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Karnac Books, 2011), Bach speaks plainly and with warmth about the many difficulties facing new clinicians ranging from setting and collecting fees to dealing with the sadomasochistic transference/countertransference matrix. Bach is funny, opinionated, and ready to roll with the absurd. In this interview he gently dismantles many sacred ideas in the field and offers clinicians, whether seasoned or fledgling, a way to work that brings one back to the basics, to the transference, to the unconscious, and to the power of psychoanalysis as a useful technique for treating all forms of human suffering, including the psychoses and manias too commonly abandoned to medication. He is a beloved teacher; indeed, this book grew out of his students’ needs for clinical savoir faire and is, as he tells us, a collection of emailed nuggets and sh

  • Neil Altman, “The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class, and Culture Through an Analytic Lens” (Routledge, 2009)

    10/04/2011 Duration: 54min

    In his book The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class, and Culture Through an Analytic Lens (Routledge, 2009), the well-respected psychoanalyst Dr. Neil Altman explores what happens when one practices analysis outside the private practice frame and, instead, among the urban poor. Drawing on years of experience helping underprivileged groups, Altman discusses the impact of poverty on the analyst and patient alike, delineating what he calls the social “third” and its role in the treatment, all the while suggesting that clinicians must encounter and reckon with their own inevitable unconscious predispositions concerning “others.” In this interview, we hear an analyst think through the social with an eye towards the unconscious. Altman argues that psychoanalysis, by being in some ways elitist, especially when it has allied itself with the medical profession, has engendered considerable hostility in many quarters. He urges us to begin to address and take seriously critiques of our profession so that we might hav

  • Irwin Hirsch, “Coasting in the Countertransference: Conflicts of Self-Interest between Analyst and Patient” (Routledge, 2008)

    18/03/2011 Duration: 55min

    This interview should be of interest to both a professional and lay audience. What analysand has not wondered to herself whether she just represents a paycheck in her analyst’s world?And what analyst has not kept a patient in treatment long after the analysis was brought to completion due to financial concerns? In his book Coasting in the Countertransference: Conflicts of Self-Interest between Analyst and Patient (Routledge, 2008), Dr. Hirsch explores how analysts can coast in a treatment, indulging patients and themselves via preferred modes of relating that leave the patient’s problems, usually thorny problems, untouched. As analysts who share interests with our patients–be it the Mets, the pork chop at The Little Owl, or Jonathan Franzen’s latest–we may find that we engage them in certain ways so as to keep other issues, such as their sadism, their capacity to demean, or their dependency needs, at bay. Our fears, as analysts, may prevent us from addressing pressing issues with our patients–and so we consc

  • Hendrika Freud, “Electra vs Oedipus: The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship” (Routledge, 2010)

    27/02/2011 Duration: 57min

    Who doesn’t want to know what women want, right? Well, in this interview with Hendrika Freud, we begin to get the idea that women often prefer not to know. As I sit in my private practice, many of my female patients put on a good smoke and mirror show, cloaking desires behind reaction formations, saying they are not angry when indeed they are, and feeling guilty when they venture to articulate what they prefer in bed, for breakfast, or as payment for services rendered. Indeed, when a woman says “no” she does often mean “yes.” In her book Electra vs Oedipus: The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship (Routledge, 2010), Freud explores why being affirmative, embracing one’s desires, can be so vexatious for those deemed female. Finding a way to separate from the one whose gender identity we share, our mother, is a very complicated affair. According to Freud, a mother’s unconscious fantasies regarding her daughter are transmitted at a very young age. If a mother is narcissistically vulnerable, she is more pron

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