Self-Analysis: Critical Inquiries, Personal Visions

1st Edition

James W. Barron

Published June 23, 2015
Reference - 316 Pages
ISBN 9781138872417 - CAT# Y179108

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Self-Analysis is a fascinating reprise on the mode of disciplined self-inquiry that gave rise to psychoanalysis. From Freud's pioneering self-analytic efforts onward, self-analysis has been central to psychoanalytic training and psychoanalytic practice.  Yet, only in recent years have analysts turned their attention to this wellspring of Freud's creation.

The contributors to Self-Analysis represent diverse theoretical perspectives, but they share a common appreciation of the importance of self-analysis to the analytic endeavor.  Their papers encompass systematic inquiries into the capacity for self-analysis, examples of self-analysis as an aspect of clinical work, and personal reflections on the role of self-analysis in professional growth.  Among the questions explored: What do we mean by self-analysis?  To what extent and under what conditions is self-analysis possible?  How does it differ from ordinary introspection?  What are the developmental antecedents of the capacity for self-analysis?  What is the role of the "other" in self-analysis?  What are the relationships among self-analysis, writing, and creativity? 

As Barron observes, the contributors to the book "grapple with the formidable ambiguities of self-analysis without either idealizing or devaluing its potential."  What emerges from their effort is not only an illuminating window into the psychoanalyst's subjectivity as a fact of clinical life, but a far-reaching exemplification of the ways in which self-understanding is always a constitutive part of our understanding of others.


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