219 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books
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New Books in Psychoanalysis New Books Network

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 117 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books
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    George Szmukler, "Men in White Coats: Treatment Under Coercion" (Oxford UP, 2017)

    George Szmukler, "Men in White Coats: Treatment Under Coercion" (Oxford UP, 2017)

    The laws that govern psychiatric treatment under coercion have remain largely unchanged since the eighteenth century. But this is not because of their effectiveness, rather, these laws cling to outdated notions of disability, mental illness and mental disorder why deny the fundamental rights of this category of people on an equal basis with all others. In Men in White Coats: Treatment Under Coercion (Oxford University Press, 2017) Professor George Szmukler examines the violation of these rights, such as the right to autonomy, self-determination, liberty, and security and integrity of the person in the context of the domestic laws which themselves perpetuate ongoing discrimination against people with mental impairments.
    Tracing first the history of the medical coercion and involuntary treatment of people with mental illnesses and mental disorders, Professor Szmukler offers a potential path which he argues would end discrimination against this category of people. He puts forward a legal framework which is non-discriminatory and is based on a person's decision-making abilities and best interests, as opposed to a diagnosis. Crucially, he argues that this law is generic, and would not apply by reason of a person's mental disorder. His solution - Fusion Law - would better support people's autonomy, better engage with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and have significant social value by recognising the dignity and equality of people with mental health impairments. It would also have implications for the forensics system, in particular, with regards to defendants who have mental disorders. 
    Professor George Szmukler is a psychiatrist who started practising in the field as a trainee in 1972. He retired from clinical work in 2012, and is now an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Society at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's college London. His major research now concerns methods of reducing compulsion and ’coercion’ in psychiatric care, for example, through the use of ’advance statements’. A related interest is mental health law, particularly the possibility of generic legislation centred on impaired decision-making capacity which would apply to all persons, regardless of the cause of the underlying disturbance of mental functioning.
    Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Neil Altman, "White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives" (Routledge, 2020)

    Neil Altman, "White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives" (Routledge, 2020)

    Neil Altman’s White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (Routledge, 2020) is a slip (80 pages including references and the index) of a book that reads as both addendum and antidote to some of the literature aimed at waking white people (Ta-Nahesi-Coates’ “dreamers”) up to the realities of racism. I say antidote as some of that literature (the work of Robin Di Angelo and Ibram X. Kendi come to mind) seems to depend on commands from the super ego to shed the scales from white eyes. On finishing Di Angelo’s White Fragility (which was required reading last summer) I felt both paranoid and ashamed and had to wonder how self-policing was going diminish my racism? Altman’s book intervenes precisely in this potentially deleterious cycle arguing that anti-racist thinking that relies on “should” and “oughts”, are potentially doomed to fail. By attacking the defenses rather than softening them, such efforts run the risk of hardening the racism they set out to transform.
    Humans hate. Freud tells us it is our first feeling. Undeniably, hating can fill us with great and solidifying pleasure. Racism is one form of hatred. When acted on, it can and does destroy lives. Fully loaded with white privilege, white people are apt to act on our racism, and also to shudder, deny or dissociate when encountering our racist thoughts and feelings. When confronted with our racism and its impact, with our awareness that we in fact rely on denigrating stereotypes to feel a little better about ourselves, states of mortification (deathliness) emerge that do no one any good. Such a state is a purely narcissistic one where the other has been snuffed out. If you are white, as I am, you have likely found yourself more than once tossing the hot potato of your own racism as far away as from yourself as you can. And some part of you feels weakened by being this way but it is practically an involuntary reflex.
    Thinking about this reflex, Altman employs Melanie Klein’s thinking about what it means to be human, which highlights our ineluctable destructiveness. If hate is a human feeling, not one to be gotten rid of but rather one to be accepted and contended with, there may be a way for us to take responsibility for being hurtful, for being racist. Hating hate or hating our racism can maintain the status quo. In fact, hidden hateful feelings seek justification and become reified, rather than being fleeting—as all feelings truly are.
    Altman highlights the difference between making reparations based on guilt versus the descent into guiltiness. Guilt implies that one is interested in our impact on others because we know that in living, we will hurt many people along the way. Guiltiness, which we can see in white virtue signaling around racism, has much more to do with returning the self that has harmed to its happy and perfect place without addressing the harm done. While white people are primed, particularly in an American context, to say and do horrible and hurtful racist things, it is the disavowal of the destructiveness that perhaps does, from a psychoanalytic perspective, the most harm in the end. Altman quotes the journalist Leonard Pitts who captures the experience of white negation succinctly, writing, “If people who hate you would stand up and declare it you would not have to go through with your day on guard against the world.”
    The refusal to take responsibility for the harm we do—and Altman makes the strong point that whiteness can be defined as an identity that is principally based on dehumanization—keeps white people on the run from reality. When we depend on delusions to shore us up, a part of us knows we are in real bad shape.
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    • 56 min
    Galit Atlas, "When Minds Meet: The Work of Lewis Aron" (Routledge, 2020)

    Galit Atlas, "When Minds Meet: The Work of Lewis Aron" (Routledge, 2020)

    When Minds Meet: The Work of Lewis Aron (Routledge, 2020) offers a sampling of Lewis Aron's most important contributions to relational psychoanalysis.
    One of the founders of relational thinking, Aron was an internationally recognized psychoanalyst, sought after teacher, lecturer, and the Director of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. His pioneering work introduced and revolutionized the concepts of mutuality, the analyst's subjectivity, and the paradigm of mutual vulnerability in the analytic setting. During the last few years of his life, Aron was exploring the ethical considerations of writing psychoanalytic case histories and the importance of self-reflection and skepticism not only for analysts with their patients, but also as a stance towards the field of psychoanalysis itself. Aron is known for his singular, highly compelling teaching and writing style and for an unparalleled ability to convey complex, often comparative theoretical concepts in a uniquely inviting and approachable way. The reader will encounter both seminal papers on the vision and method of contemporary clinical practice, as well as cutting edge newer writing from the years just before his death. Edited and with a foreword by Galit Atlas, each chapter is preceded by a new introduction by some of the most important thinkers in our field: Jessica Benjamin, Michael Eigen, Jay Greenberg, Adrienne Harris, Stephen Hartman, Steven Kuchuck, Thomas Ogden, Joyce Slochower, Donnel Stern, Merav Roth, Chana Ullman, and Aron himself.
    This book will make an important addition to the libraries of experienced clinicians and psychoanalytic scholars already familiar with Aron's work, as well as students, newer professionals or anyone seeking an introduction to relational psychoanalysis and one of its most stunning, vibrant voices.
    Roy Barsness is a Clinical Psychoanalytic Psychologist, Founder and Executive Director of the Post-Graduate Program in Relationally-Focused Psychodynamic Therapy; Professor at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and have been in clinical practice for 30+ years.
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    • 53 min
    Sergio Benvenuto, "Conversations with Lacan: Seven Lectures for Understanding Lacan" (Routledge, 2019)

    Sergio Benvenuto, "Conversations with Lacan: Seven Lectures for Understanding Lacan" (Routledge, 2019)

    Conversations with Lacan: Seven Lectures for Understanding Lacan (Routledge, 2019)brings a unique, non-partisan approach to the work of Jacques Lacan, linking his psychoanalytic theory and ideas to broader debates in philosophy and the social sciences, in a book that shows how it is possible to see the value of Lacanian concepts without necessarily being defined by them.
    In accessible, conversational language, the book provides a clear-sighted overview of the key ideas within Lacan’s work, situating them at the apex of the linguistic turn. It deconstructs the three Lacanian orders – the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real – as well as a range of core Lacanian concepts, including alienation and separation, après-coup, and the Lacanian doctrine of temporality. Arguing that criticism of psychoanalysis for a lack of scientificity should be accepted by the discipline, the book suggests that the work of Lacan can be helpful in re-conceptualizing the role of psychoanalysis in the future.
    This accessible introduction to the work of Jacques Lacan will be essential reading for anyone coming to Lacan for the first time, as well as clinicians and scholars already familiar with his work. It will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and scholars of philosophy and cultural studies.
    Cassandra B. Seltman is a writer, psychoanalyst, and researcher in New York City. cassandraseltman@gmail.com
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Mitchell Wilson, "The Analyst’s Desire: The Ethical Foundation of Clinical Practice" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    Mitchell Wilson, "The Analyst’s Desire: The Ethical Foundation of Clinical Practice" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    In The Analyst’s Desire: The Ethical Foundation of Clinical Practice (Bloomsbury, 2020), Mitchell Wilson explores the fundamental role that lack and desire play in psychoanalytic interpretation by using a comparative method that engages different psychoanalytic traditions: Lacanian, Bionian, Kleinian, Contemporary Freudian. Investigating crucial questions Wilson asks: What is the nature of the psychoanalytic process? How are desire and counter-transference linked? What is the relationship between desire, analytic action, and psychoanalytic ethics?
    Mitchell Wilson is a training and supervising analyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, USA. While in medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, he obtained a postgraduate degree in English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied the early English novel and Lacanian theory. He has been a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and has served on the editorial boards of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly and the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of JAPA.
    Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Los Angeles. He can be reached at philipjlance@gmail.com.
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    • 53 min
    Gavin Arnall, "Subterranean Fanon: An Underground Theory of Radical Change" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Gavin Arnall, "Subterranean Fanon: An Underground Theory of Radical Change" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    In this episode, J.J. Mull interviews Gavin Arnall, author of Subterranean Fanon: An Underground Theory of Radical Change (Columbia University Press, 2020). Arnall traces an internal division throughout Fanon’s work between two distinct modes of thinking about change. He contends that there are two Fanons: a dominant Fanon who conceives of change as a dialectical process of becoming and a subterranean Fanon who experiments with an even more explosive underground theory of transformation. In this conversation, Arnall touches on various Fanonian traditions and what they have to tell us about contemporary psychiatric and psychoanalytic practice.
    J.J. Mull is a poet, training clinician, and graduate student at Smith College School for Social Work living in Northampton, MA. He can be reached at jmull@smith.edu.
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    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

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117 Ratings

117 Ratings

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