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I feel a little braver about the journey to come thanks to this. View 2 comments. Jun 24, Jeff rated it really liked it Recommends it for: People curious about what shrinks think they're doing. The blurb on the book jacket is right, this book is quite "accessible". For its accessibility, though, it was also intellectually sophisticated enough to not come across as a "pop" history of psychoanalysis. For all its sophistication, it does not come across as a "for professionals only" kind of read, as many of the philosophy books I face do. My only criticism is that for some reason or other, a figure as significant and popularly known as Carl Jung gets the short shrift, not to mention the The blurb on the book jacket is right, this book is quite "accessible".

My only criticism is that for some reason or other, a figure as significant and popularly known as Carl Jung gets the short shrift, not to mention the likes of Erich Fromm, Carl Rogers, Wilhelm Reich, and Konrad Lorenz. The book claims to just be about Freud and all the psychoanalytic movements that are considered successors of the original Freudian paradigm I always though Jung was at least roughly in that Cannon. If I were to speculate, I would suspect some political agenda behind the exclusion, much the same way analytic philosophers neglect to mention continental philosophy outside the context of history or of "mistakes to avoid".

Perhaps the title is just a little too accurate. Bottom line; quite good at what it talks about, but as a general reader you may feel there are gaps in the history it presents, and will want to look elsewhere for your intro to Jung and company. Jul 08, Jordan rated it it was amazing. A wonderful introduction and overview of psychoanalytic thinking.

Psychodynamic Summary

Makes things accessible through careful building of terminology with application to cases to bring it to life. Highly recommended for anyone who wants an introduction to the subject.

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It was great for me as a Psychiatry resident but think it would be suitable for the motivated lay audience or someone undergoing therapy themselves. Jul 10, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: psychoanalytic-psychodynamic. A wonderful and detailed primer on different psychodynamic ways of thinking.


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Mitchell and Black explain each theory nicely, and seem to walk a fine line, never vilifying or damning theories, instead stating the differences. It is an excellent review of the different dynamic ways of thinking and I believe, should be read in graduate level courses on psychoanalysis. When it comes to Freud, many have little to no understanding of him, or a simplistic understanding of his relationship to psychotherapy. Like many worthwhile books, the lessons can be summarized succinctly.

While there is much to debate dialectically regarding psychoanalytic concepts, Mitchell and Black make the case for why psychoanalysis is still as relevant as ever. By the end of the book, the reader has not only been exposed to the trajectory of psychoanalytic thinking, but has also read about the current dialectics regarding theory and technique. By the end of the book, I crystallized some synthesis of my leanings. I feel that in general, an interpersonal stance resonates with me the most. Ditching two of the most problematic aspects of core-Freudian theory: the body-centered conceptualizations as well as the psychoanalyst as expert, I found myself able to nod approvingly to much of how interpersonal psychoanalysis was presented.

They are enacted idiosyncratically as a function that encompasses environment, actors, and the psychophysiology of the organism. Interpersonal psychoanalysis accounts for that and more. We are constructed. Our illusions serve us for survival in an ever-changing world.

A Brief History of Psychoanalytic Thought -- and Related Theories of Human Existence

Most of the controversies in psychoanalysis can only be taken seriously as a matter of emphasis. Internal and external. Trauma and fantasy.

Each person is part of a mutually specified environment. The person acts on the environment and the environment acts on the person. Internal and external are perpetually at work. Inside the person is a network of biological subsystems that are known to be amazingly complex, yet are still largely not understood. As a result of the overwhelming complexity of the environment and internal workings of the brain, the psychoanalyst must depend upon critical information that is essential to modern psychoanalysis.

Modern psychoanalysis depends upon transference and countertransference. How the patient makes the therapist feel must be considered as a point of exploration. What defenses and history the therapist carries must also be considered. It would be a stretch for psychoanalysis to be considered empirical.


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If you read the book, you will have plenty to think about. Ian Felton The Psychologist Coder In Klein's formulation of envy, there is an attack on an object; in the case of the original paradigm of the infant at the breast, the infant destroys the breast and spoils its contents. Bion's early efforts to grasp the origins and nature of schizophrenic thought and language, so striking in their fragmentation and apparent meaninglessness, led him to feel that a connection existed between schizophrenic fragmentation and the kind of envious attacks described by Klein, but that what was attacked In Klein's formulation of envy, there is an attack on an object; in the case of the original paradigm of the infant at the breast, the infant destroys the breast and spoils its contents.

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Bion's early efforts to grasp the origins and nature of schizophrenic thought and language, so striking in their fragmentation and apparent meaninglessness, led him to feel that a connection existed between schizophrenic fragmentation and the kind of envious attacks described by Klein, but that what was attacked was not only the object itself but the part of the child's own mind that was connected to the object and reality in general.

The envious infant experiences her whole link to the object as unbearably painful, and therefore attacks not just the breast, but her own mental capacities that connect her to the breast, Bion theorized. There is not only a fantasied attack on the object, ripping it to shreds, but an attack on the infant's own perceptual and cognitive apparatus, destroying her capacity to perceive and understand reality in general, her capacity to make meaningful connections with others.

Envy, for Bion, became a kind of psychological autoimmunological disorder, an attack by the mind on itself. Dec 12, Arash Farzaneh rated it it was amazing. Simply loved this book! It is informative, insightful and very well-written! There's a wealth of information that is clearly outlined and presented here. If you are curious about or interested in psychoanalysis or mental health and psychology in general, I would highly recommend this book. My only regret is that the book could be longer, while I would have also liked them to mention and present the ideas and theories of Carl Gustav Jung.

Freud and Beyond gives a great survey and overview of gener Simply loved this book!

Understanding Movements in Modern Thought

Freud and Beyond gives a great survey and overview of general trends and movements within the field of psychoanalysis. In fact, many people have preconceived and sometimes erroneous or incomplete information about it. Sigmund Freud was the definite starting point and father of psychoanalysis but he is certainly not the end point, nor should one disregard or ignore the myriad daughters and sons who have built upon as well as around his astounding legacy!

Jan 18, Jan Goericke rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy-psychology-anthropolog. Don't know much about psychoanalysis and want to know what it is all about? Want to know what has been done in the field since Sigmund Freud? This book is an exceptionally well done introduction to the field. The authors start with an explanation of Sigmund Freud's initial work and then progress along in time to the present day highlighting key contributors and directions in the field.

Case studies of various patients illustrate the work of various lines of thoughts within the psychoanalytic com Don't know much about psychoanalysis and want to know what it is all about? Case studies of various patients illustrate the work of various lines of thoughts within the psychoanalytic community. The language of the book is such that novice readers i.

Highly recommended! A joy to read! Feb 18, Drobg62 rated it it was amazing.

Freud the philosopher

One of the best of its kind Mitchell provides a thorough in-depth comparative analysis of psychoanalysis. This work should be helpful to those new to psychoanalysis as well as those more informed.

In my opinion, this is perhaps the best resource of its kind outside of Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory by Greenberg and Mitchell. Are there character traits that make someone more likely to vote for the far right? Over half a century later and with the rise of right-wing populism and the reemergence of the far-right in recent years, this hugely influential study remains as insightful and relevant as ever.

The first edition of this classic work from shows a radically different psychoanalysis. Jacques Lacan continues to be subject to the most extravagant interpretations. Angelic to some, he is demonic to others. To recall Lacan's career, now that the heroic age of psychoanalysis is over, is to remember an intellectual and literary adventure that occupies a founding place in our modernity. Lacan went against the current of many of the hopes aroused by , but embraced their paradoxes, and his language games and wordplay resonate today as so many injunctions to replace rampant individualism with a heightened social consciousness.

Existential psychiatrists, Marxist intellectuals, anarchists, and political leaders met to discuss key social issues. Laing, Paul Sweezy, and others, to explore the roots of social violence. Mannoni draws on the perspective provided by his Lacanian work on colonialism to provide a unique intellectual biography of Freud, tracing the genesis and development of various key psychoanalytical concepts. Ordinarily, these modes of thinking only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive.

A Communist, feminist, and analysand asks what the social function of psychoanalysis should be and condemns what it has become. Such an unresolved, nuanced sense of identity, Said argues, might one day form the basis for a new understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Freud also believed that the libido developed in individuals by changing its object. He argued that humans are born "polymorphously perverse," meaning that any number of objects could be a source of pleasure. He further argued that as humans developed they fixated on different, and specific, objects - first oral exemplified by an infant's pleasure in nursing , then anal exemplified by a toddler's pleasure in controlling his or her bowels , then phallic.

Freud argued that children then passed through a stage where they fixated on the parent of the opposite sex. Freud sought to anchor this pattern of development in the dynamics of the mind. Each stage is a progression into adult sexual maturity, characterized by a strong ego and the ability to delay need gratification. Freud's model of psycho-sexual development has been criticized from different perspectives.

Some have attacked Freud's claim that infants are sexual beings and, implicitly, Freud's expanded notion of sexuality. Others have accepted Freud's expanded notion of sexuality, but have argued that this pattern of development is not universal, nor necessary for the development of a healthy adult. Instead, they have emphasized the social and environmental sources of patterns of development.