202 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books
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    • Science

Interviews with Scholars of Psychoanalysis about their New Books
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    Leon S. Brenner, "The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    Leon S. Brenner, "The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    Leon Brenner's The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) makes a forceful case for the relevance of Lacanian psychoanalysis in the understanding and treatment of autism. Refusing both cognitive and identitarian approaches to the topic, Brenner rigorously theorizes autism as a unique mode of subjectivity and relation to language that sits alongside the classical Freudian structures of psychosis, neurosis, and perversion. In this interview, Brenner dispels misconceptions around psychoanalysis "blaming the mother," as we explore his conceptualisation of autistic subjectivity alongside clinical examples.
    Jordan Osserman is a postdoctoral research fellow and psychoanalyst in training in London. He can be reached at jordan.osserman@gmail.com.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Vic Sedlak, "The Psychoanalyst's Superegos, Ego Ideals and Blind Spots: The Emotional Development of the Clinician" (Routledge, 2019)

    Vic Sedlak, "The Psychoanalyst's Superegos, Ego Ideals and Blind Spots: The Emotional Development of the Clinician" (Routledge, 2019)

    Psychotherapists and psychoanalysts enter an emotional relationship when they treat a patient; no matter how experienced they may be, their personalities inform but also limit their ability to recognize and give thought to what happens in the consulting room. 
    The Psychoanalyst’s Superegos, Ego Ideals and Blind Spots: The Emotional Development of the Clinician (Routledge, 2019) investigates the nature of these constrictions on the clinician’s sensitivity. Vic Sedlak examines clinicians’ fear of a superego which threatens to become censorious of themselves or their patient and their need to aspire to standards demanded by their ego ideals. These dynamic forces are considered in relation to treatments which fail, to supervision and to recent innovations in psychoanalytic technique. The difficulty of giving thought to hostility is particularly stressed. Richly illustrated with clinical material, this book will enable practitioners to recognize the unconscious forces which militate against their clinical effectiveness.
    Vic Sedlak is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society in private practice in the North of England.
    Christopher Russell is a Psychoanalyst in Chelsea, Manhattan.
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    • 57 min
    Paul Ian Steinberg, "Psychoanalysis in Medicine: Applying Psychoanalytic Thought to Contemporary Medical Care" (Routledge, 2020)

    Paul Ian Steinberg, "Psychoanalysis in Medicine: Applying Psychoanalytic Thought to Contemporary Medical Care" (Routledge, 2020)

    In today’s program, Dr. Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist and clinical professor at the University of British Columbia, discusses his recently released book Psychoanalysis in Medicine: Applying Psychoanalytic Thought to Contemporary Medical Care (Routledge, 2020). 
    In this new volume, Dr. Steinberg offers both theoretical inferences and practical guidance related to the application of psychoanalysis to medical practice. Dr. Steinberg provides insight on, among many other topics, how clinicians’ awareness of their own feelings can aid in the diagnostic process and how a psychoanalytic approach can enrich patient interview.
    Alec Kacew is a medical school student at the University of Chicago.
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    • 55 min
    Sheldon George, "Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity" (Baylor UP, 2016)

    Sheldon George, "Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity" (Baylor UP, 2016)

    In his book, Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity (Baylor UP, 2016), Sheldon George treats an old idea--that African Americans must transform their relationship to the history of slavery and to their identification with race—in an entirely new way.
    What follows is a quite truncated encapsulation of the book’s central argument which I will attempt if only because it struck me as a very original use of Lacanian thought. It also produced something I value very much: the development of fresh ideas for this psychoanalyst to ponder.
    George argues that owning human property, slaves, offered a surplus of "jouissance" to slave owners. Meanwhile the enslaved, denuded of family, of history and claims to nationality, were often valued solely for muscle mass and fecundity. Psychically emptied--seen only for their capacity to serve the master's needs, and I want to add, also emptying preemptively, and defensively their psychic lives, enslaved people were forbidden access to being, from which flows, following Lacan, crucial early fantasies of a wholeness that must be shattered if one is to become subjectivized. Fantasies of repletion provide a kind of protective “crested shield" with which to endure the rough first brush with the Symbolic.
    Living under a racist, white animating Master Signifier, slaves were often absent of the requisite psychic buffering with which to enter the Symbolic without undue suffering. Barred from the rudiments of being and lacking a constructive Master Signifier from which to generate vitalizing associations, the gaze of the enslaved was horrifyingly riveted to the “very lack that is masked in the Lacanian subject,” (p.21). Here George offers an apt description of what the sociologist of slavery, Orlando Patterson, refers to as "social death."
    Rather than celebrate the ways in which the burden of “double consciousness” aided African Americans in generating new linguistic vistas, we find no fan of Henry Louis Gates Jr’s “signifying monkey” here. George declares the project of "resignification" as not going far enough, and crucially, as missing the impact of the unconscious on language. Arguing against a powerful trend in African-American studies to value African-American racial identity as such, George boldly declares, “insistences on race perform a rite, an endless repeated act as a means to commemorate the not very memorable encounter that I call the trauma of slavery.” (p.42) How, George asks, can one have an identity based on insult, negation, and injury? Following his argument, the lure of racial pride loses its force majeur. Suddenly we see it as but papering over a potentially productive encounter with lack. And if it is lack that must be faced so as to open the door to a life driven by enlivening, elusive yet worthwhile desire, at what cost is it avoided?
    The idea of having love of the race and “the race man” become rather quickly tragic in George’s intellectual hands. Furthermore, embracing the narrative that “we come from slavery”, like Sethe in Toni Morrison's Beloved, (a novel George writes beautifully about in this text) one is quickly cornered, metonymically, by the suffocating relationship between race and enslavement. The need for the space to metaphorize is undeniable.
    To learn more about the work of Sheldon George, please go here.
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    • 56 min
    Marian Dunlea, "Bodydreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach" (Routledge, 2019)

    Marian Dunlea, "Bodydreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach" (Routledge, 2019)

    Winner the 2019 NAAP Gradiva Award and Co- Winner of International Association for Jungian Studies Awards Program for Best Books published in 2019, Marian Dunlea’s BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach (Routledge, 2019) provides a theoretical and practical guide for working with early developmental trauma. This interdisciplinary approach explores the interconnection of body, mind and psyche, offering a masterful tool for restoring balance and healing developmental trauma. BodyDreaming is a somatically focused therapeutic method, drawing on the findings of neuroscience, analytical psychology, attachment theory and trauma therapy. 
    In Part I, Dunlea defines BodyDreaming and its origins, placing it in the context of a dysregulated contemporary world. Part II explains how the brain works in relation to the Body Dreaming approach: providing an accessible outline of neuroscientific theory, structures and neuroanatomy in attunement, affect regulation, attachment patterns, transference and countertransference, and the resolution of trauma throughout the body. In Part III, through detailed transcripts from sessions with clients, Dunlea demonstrates the positive impact of Body Dreaming on attachment patterns and developmental trauma. This somatic approach complements and enhances psychobiological, developmental and psychoanalytic interventions. Body Dreaming restores balance to a dysregulated psyche and nervous system that activates our innate capacity for healing, changing our default response of “fight, flight or freeze” and creating new neural pathways. Dunlea’s emphasis on attunement to build a restorative relationship with the sensing body creates a core sense of self, providing a secure base for healing developmental trauma. 
    Marian Dunlea M.Sc., IAAP, ICP, is a Jungian analyst and somatics practitioner who has been leading workshops internationally for the past 25 years integrating body, mind and soul. She is head of the BodySoul Europe Training, which is part of the Marion Woodman Foundation. She is creator of BodyDreaming an approach which incorporates developments in neuroscience, trauma therapy, and attachment theory with Jungian psychology, and the phenomenological standpoint of interconnectedness. Her trainings include Jungian Analysis, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy, Infant Observation Supervision, and Somatic Experiencing.
    Christopher Russell is a Psychoanalyst in Chelsea, Manhattan.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, "Memory's Eyes: A New York Oedipus Novel" (Ipbooks, 2020)

    Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, "Memory's Eyes: A New York Oedipus Novel" (Ipbooks, 2020)

    Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau's Memory’s Eyes is a contemporary New York Oedipus novel. It is written for readers who enjoy playing with concepts and storylines, here namely the classical Oedipus myth, Sophocles’ three Theban plays, the psychoanalytical concept of the Oedipus complex, and its pop-cultural adaptations in cartoons and jokes. Tragic and funny, playful, but also challenging, readers will find themselves simultaneously knowing and not knowing, anticipating and surprised by how the truth slowly emerges.
    Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Los Angeles. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.com and his website address is https://www.drphiliplance.com.
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    • 54 min

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