“I owe my results to a new method of psychoanalysis, Josef Breuer's exploratory procedure; it is a little intricate, but irreplaceable, so fertile has it shown itself to be in throwing light upon the obscure unconscious mental processes.”
―Sigmund Freud, Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses (1896)
“Capitalist realism insists on treating mental health as if it were a natural fact, like weather (but, then again, weather is no longer a natural fact so much as a political-economic effect). In the 1960s and 1970s, radical theory and politics (Laing, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, etc.) coalesced around extreme mental conditions such as schizophrenia, arguing, for instance, that madness was not a natural, but a political, category. But what is needed now is a politicization of much more common disorders. Indeed, it is their very commonness which is the issue: in Britain, depression is now the condition that is most treated by the NHS. In his book The Selfish Capitalist, Oliver James has convincingly posited a correlation between rising rates of mental distress and the neoliberal mode of capitalism practiced in countries like Britain, the USA and Australia. In line with James’s claims, I want to argue that it is necessary to reframe the growing problem of stress (and distress) in capitalist societies. Instead of treating it as incumbent on individuals to resolve their own psychological distress, instead, that is, of accepting the vast privatization of stress that has taken place over the last thirty years, we need to ask: how has it become acceptable that so many people, and especially so many young people, are ill?”
“The current ruling ontology denies any possibility of a social causation of mental illness. The chemico-biologization of mental illness is of course strictly commensurate with its depoliticization. Considering mental illness an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualization (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical companies can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRls). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticizing mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.”
Reading Klein provides an introduction to the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest psychoanalysts, known in particular for her contribution in developing child analysis and for her vivid depiction of the inner world. This book makes Melanie Klein’s works highly accessible, providing both substantial extracts from her writings, and material by the authors exploring their significance.
#2 "What is This Professor Freud Like?": A Diary of an Analysis with Historical Comments
In 1921, a young female doctor started analysis with Sigmund Freud. In a diary, she recorded what moved her. The present volume not only contains a full translation of these records, but also collects four essays by two psychoanalysts and two analytical historians who take their cue from the young doctor’s notes to think about Freud and his methods.
#3 The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture
We have entered the age of perversion, an era in which we are becoming more like machines and they more like us. The Age of Perversion explores the sea changes occurring in sexual and social life, made possible by the ongoing technological revolution, and demonstrates how psychoanalysts can understand and work with manifestations of perversion in clinical settings.
Until now theories of perversion have limited their scope of inquiry to sexual behavior and personal trauma. The authors of this book widen that inquiry to include the social and political sphere, tracing perversion’s existential roots to the human experience of being a conscious animal troubled by the knowledge of death. Offering both creative and destructive possibilities, perversion challenges boundaries and norms in every area of life and involves transgression, illusion casting, objectification, dehumanization, and the radical quest for transcendence.
#4 Stalker, Hacker, Voyeur, Spy: A Psychoanalytic Study of Erotomania, Voyeurism, Surveillance, and Invasions of Privacy
Stalking is a predatory form of terrorizing people. Whether the tormenting erotomanic pursuit by the unrequited lover of his or her prey, or the secretive invasive surveillance in government-backed counterterrorism, stalker and stalkee are ”coupled” in today’s world of idealized yet dissociated intrapsychic, interpersonal, national and international relations. “Cyberspace,” an unprecedented force for good, has become, along with more conventional venues, a fearsomely invasive stalking ground in private and public lives.
#5 Art, Creativity, and Psychoanalysis: Perspectives from Analyst-Artists
Art, Creativity, and Psychoanalysis: Perspectives from Analyst-Artists collects personal reflections by therapists who are also professional artists. It explores the relationship between art and analysis through accounts by practitioners who identify themselves as dual-profession artists and analysts. The book illustrates the numerous areas where analysis and art share common characteristics using first-hand, in-depth accounts. These vivid reports from the frontier of art and psychoanalysis shed light on the day-to-day struggle to succeed at both of these demanding professions.
#6 Oscillations of Literary Theory: The Paranoid Imperative and Queer Reparative
Oscillations of Literary Theory offers a new psychoanalytic approach to reading literature queerly, one that implicates queer theory without depending on explicit representations of sex or queer identities. By focusing on desire and identifications, A. C. Facundo argues that readers can enjoy the text through a variety of rhythms between two (eroticized) positions: the paranoid imperative and queer reparative. Facundo examines the metaphor of rupture as central to the logic of critique, particularly the project to undo conventional formations of identity and power. To show how readers can rebuild their relational worlds after the rupture, Facundo looks to the themes of the desire for omniscience, the queer pleasure of the text, loss and letting go, and the vanishing points that structure thinking. Analyses of Nabokov’s Lolita, Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Findley’s The Wars, and Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go are included, which model this new approach to reading.
#7 Countertransference and Alive Moments: Help or Hindrance
This book deals with the nitty-gritty of understanding why countertransference remains an on-going challenge for psychotherapists and psychoanalysts. Over the years the em-phasis has moved from theoretical disapproval to potential clinical advantage. This ad-vantage is in practice often hard to achieve, sometimes due to the fear of the closeness in the psychoanalyst as much as in the patient. This thorough and thoughtful book will help students and more seasoned practitioners understand the way differing trends in understanding countertransference connect, relate and sometimes contradict. It aims to provide practical insight into the way countertransference experiences can be grasped, worked through and then worked with to powerful and good effect in the clinical work.
#8 Bereavement: Personal Experiences and Clinical Reflections
This is a book about death, loss, grief and mourning, but with an unusual twist. It is different in that it explores specific kinds of deaths encountered within families and households, rather than general concepts of mourning. It is even more unusual because here six psychoanalysts reveal how they have suffered, processed, and survived losses in their own lives; at the same time bringing clinical and theoretical perspectives of various psychoanalytic schools to bear on their own, as well as others’, experiences.
#9 Bion in Film Theory and Analysis: The retreat in film
In Bion in Film Theory and Analysis: The retreat in film, Carla Ambrósio Garcia introduces the rich potential of the thinking of British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion for film theory. By so doing, she rethinks the space of the cinema as a space of retreat, and brings new insights into the representation of retreat in film.
#10 Body-Mind Dissociation in Psychoanalysis: Development after Bion
The conflict and dissociation between the Body and the Mind have determinant implications in the context of our current clinical practice, and are an important source of internal and relational disturbances. Body-Mind Dissociation in Psychoanalysis proposes the concept as a new hypothesis, different from traumatic dissociation or states of splitting.
#11 Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Trans-Generational Transmission of Trauma
Wounds of History takes a new view in psychoanalysis using a trans-generational and social/political/cultural model looking at trauma and its transmission. The view is radical in looking beyond maternal dyads and Oedipal triangles and in its portrayal of a multi-generational world that is no longer hierarchical. This look allows for greater clinical creativity for conceptualizing and treating human suffering, situating healing in expanding circles of witnessing.
#12 Trans-generational Trauma and the Other: Dialogues across history and difference
Often, our trans-generational legacies are stories of 'us' and 'them' that never reach their terminus. We carry fixed narratives, and the ghosts of our perpetrators and of our victims. We long to be subjects in our own history, but keep reconstituting the Other as an object in their own history. Trans-generational Trauma and the Other argues that healing requires us to engage with the Other who carries a corresponding pre-history. Without this dialogue, alienated ghosts can become persecutory objects, in psyche, politics, and culture.
#13 Attachment Theory: Working Towards Learned Security
This book covers the groundbreaking concepts in attachment theory, as promulgated by Bowlby himself and during the years post Bowlby. It sets out to develop the seminal concept of 'learned security': the provision of a reparative experience of a secure base by the therapist so that the client can imbibe what he missed out on during his formative years. Rhona M. Fear points out that the idea of learned security has developed from the concept of earned security but is distinctly different.
#14 The Political Self: Understanding the Social Context for Mental Illness
This book explores how our social and economic contexts profoundly affect our mental health and wellbeing, and how modern neuroscientific and psychodynamic research can both contribute to and enrich our understanding of these wider discussions. It therefore looks both inside and outside - indeed one of the main themes of The Political Self is that the conceptually discrete categories of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ in reality constantly interact, shape, and inform each other. Severing these two worlds, it suggests, has led both to a devitalised and dissociated form of politics, and to a disengaged and disempowering form of therapy and analysis.
#15 Children of Refugees: Torture, Human Rights, and Psychological Consequences
There is a wide gap between the psychological needs of the children of refugees and the services provided. Refugees' home countries, cultures, and social make-up are widely diversified, and their needs cannot be readily consolidated. This diversity of interest and need goes unacknowledged by the service-providers who may treat them as a single, homogenous group. Some refugees' needs are exaggerated, while others are ignored. This approach often ignores the justifiable and legitimate interest of refugees' psychological wellbeing. Many children of refugees may struggle with questions of race, ethnicity, language barriers, and other socio-political and economic issues that can influence their mental health and psychological wellbeing. Preoccupations of the child's emotions with those issues therefore have effects on child personality formations.
#16 In Therapy: How conversations with psychotherapists really work
Worldwide, increasingly large numbers of people are seeing therapists on a regular basis. In the UK alone, 1.5 million people are in therapy. We go to address past traumas, to break patterns of behaviour, to confront eating disorders or addiction, to talk about relationships, or simply because we want to find out more about what makes us tick.
#17 Marriage as a Fine Art by Julia Kristeva and Philippe Sollers
"We found so much to say, to share, to learn.... For it wasn't just the Marquis de Sade profile and the sporty thighs-and-calves that seduced me. It was even more, perhaps, or certainly just as much, the speed at which you used to read, and still do."—Julia Kristeva
"We're married, Julia and I, that's a fact, but we each have our own personalities, our own name, activities, and freedom. Love is the full recognition of the other in their otherness. If this other is very close to you, as in this case, it seems to me that what's at stake is harmony within difference. The difference between men and women is irreducible; there's no possibility of fusion."—Philippe Sollers