Volkan, V. D. (2023). Remembering Jimmy Carter and His Contribution to the Role of Psychoanalysis in World Affairs. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 131–151.
Abstract: In February 2023 98-year-old former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care and began spending his remaining time at home with his family. This paper describes his personal, and The Carter Center’s financial, support for applying psychoanalytic approaches to understanding and calming large-group conflicts in Estonia and Albania and helping to enrich psychoanalytic knowledge of large-group psychology.
Charles, M. (2023). Canaries in the Mind: Reflections on Paul Lippmann and the World of Dreams. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 152–177.
Abstract: Nowhere do we see the beauty of our struggles so clearly as in the world of dreams. This past year saw the passing of one of our most creative and inspiring poets of the world of dreams, Paul Lippmann. In this paper, I speak from and about the world of dreams, recognizing ways in which they call to our attention aspects of experience which, unparsed, leave us caught emotionally. Considered will be the dream itself, its forms and functions, ways in which our emotional tangles within the dream space become visual pictograms. Bion suggested that the purpose of psychoanalysis is to enhance the capacities for feeling, thinking and dreaming. The dreaming process is enhanced by and in the psychoanalytic session. Through the dream work of analyst and analysand, dream elements become more fully elaborated into meaningful symbols that enrich the evolving narratives within the sessions. I will also consider ways in which psychosocial perspectives and psychoanalytic field theory have enhanced our understanding of and ability to make sense of our dreams, providing an enlarged playing field beyond the reconstructive efforts of early psychoanalysis.
Angeloch, D. (2023). Thinking the Dream: Dream and Dream Thinking in Sigmund Freud, Hanna Segal, and Wilfred Bion. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 178–209.
Abstract: In the dream and its interpretation, psychoanalysis, in its founding period around 1900, identified the “royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious in the psychic life.” But already in the development of Freud’s work itself, the dream lost its central position: As early as in the 1920s, psychoanalysis ceased to be a theory and practice defined by dream interpretation—a caesura in a process which completed itself in 1950. Two further developments proved, up to the present day, particularly momentous for the conception of the dream: Melanie Klein’s development of the concept of “unconscious phantasy” and the extension of psychoanalytic treatment to psychosis, originally declared inaccessible to psychoanalytic therapy by Freud. This article draws an itinerary of this path and the subsequent fundamental changes in the psychoanalytic reflection on the dream affecting the whole of psychoanalysis until today, by casting spotlights on essential stations: conceptions of the dream developed by Hanna Segal and Wilfred Bion, the latter’s theory perpetuating Freud’s dream theory as well as it conceptualizes dreams, dreaming, and thinking in a fundamentally new way.
Ávila, L. A. (2023). Friendship, Creativity and Dispute in the Freud-Fliess and Ferenczi-Groddeck Letters. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 210–230.
Abstract: In this paper we examine the different transferential relationships that occurred between two sets of friends: Freud-Fliess and Ferenczi-Groddeck; consider the impact of these variables on their productivity, creativity, and friendship; and review historical literature to analyze how the nature of their bonds shaped very different personal destinies. Freud and Fliess greatly admired each other, and expressed reciprocal support, trust, and idealization but their underlying dispute over the paternity of certain ideas ultimately led to a bitter end. Essentially, their transference can be characterized as paternal-filial. The Ferenczi-Groddeck relationship, on the other hand, shared many of the same traits as the Freud-Fliess pair: a strong friendship, mutual admiration, even idealization, but their bond evolved into a more fraternal transference, which enabled their love, admiration, and respect to develop into a mutually-enriching relationship that endured for their entire lives.
Dal Molin, E. C., Coelho Junior, N. E. & Cromberg, R. U. (2023). Ferenczi’s Variations on the Death Drive. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 231–249.
Abstract: This theoretical paper discusses three variations on the death drive, developed by Sándor Ferenczi. We present a brief history of the use of the term death drive among the first psychoanalysts and argue that, as early as 1913, the notion is used by Ferenczi and serves as a conceptual background for his thinking. During the 1920s, Ferenczi revisits part of this concept, focusing on what he identifies as a primacy of self-destruction. The destructive drive gains an adaptive character responsible for the mortification of parts of the individual, in exchange for the survival of the whole. In this variation, the tendency to regress also arises as the self-destruction drive and the acceptance of unpleasure involves a psychic “reckoning-machine.” In the final variation, left unfinished, the death drive at times receives new names, like drive for “conciliation,” and at others, the very idea of the death drive is criticized.
Miller, I. S. & Koritar, E. (2023). A Clinical Seminar on Spinoza and Bion: A Conversation Between Miller and Koritar. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 250–264.
Abstract: The present transcript follows an online discussion held on April 3, 2022, between Ian Miller, author of Clinical Spinoza: Integrating His Philosophy with Contemporary Therapeutic Practice (2022), and Endre Koritar.
Bonomi, C. (2023). Book Review: From the Abyss of Loneliness to the Bliss of Solitude: Cultural, Social and Psychoanalytic Perspectives, edited by Aleksandar Dimitrijević and Michael B. Buchholz, Phoenix Publishing House Ltd, Bicester, Oxfordshire, 2022, 347 pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 265–271.
Although loneliness has become a pressing problem in our society, even more so during the pandemic and lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, psychoanalysts write very little about loneliness and even less about solitude. This multifaceted book offers a comprehensive treatise of loneliness and solitude, firmly founded in cultural and philosophical contemplations, as well as consulting epidemiological, developmental, social, and neuroscience research. It consists of twenty fascinating essays by fifteen prominent scholars from disciplines related in some way to psychoanalysis or clinical psychology. The result is a powerful but subtle exploration of the basic human experience of being alone and of its turning into the tragedy of psychic isolation.
Eekhoff, J. K. (2023). Book Review: Affect, Representation and Language: Between the Silence and the Cry, by Howard B. Levine, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2022, 155 pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 272–276.
The book – Affect, Representation and Language; Between the Silence and the Cry – by Howard B. Levine provides an original and creative synthesis of psychoanalytic theory from Freud onward. It integrates both past and present analytic theory as it has developed in Britain, Europe, and the Americas. Further, the book incorporates these theories so as to make them usable for the practicing therapist. Such application is essential for us practitioners. When in the field – in that alive moment in the session – each of us relies on theory to hold us while we swirl in the turbulence of a real relationship with our patients. In order to use our trained intuition, we need to have a theoretical foundation upon which to stand. This book describes the process of being attuned and deeply involved with our patients, while also able to step back, stand on firm theoretical ground, and see the bigger picture. Levine’s synthesis of theory is deep and thought-provoking. He does not casually mix theories that are in opposition to each other, but integrates those theories that fit together.
Kaul, N. (2023). Book Review: Psychoanalysis on the Verge of Language: Clinical Cases on the Edge, by Dana Amir, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2022, 110 pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 277–280.
This inspiring book—lyrical and profoundly original—is in danger of making its review into a mere ode. Dana Amir here brings together music, poetry, photography, inter alia to psychoanalysis to deepen what I would like to think of as the “lyrical school of psychoanalysis.” The faded and receding image of the author on the cover, which you almost miss, sets the tone for the penumbra regions Amir takes one to. This deceptively slim book is an intimate meditation on the music of listening.
Sheehy, J. (2023). Book Review: Body as Psychoanalytic Object: Clinical Applications from Winnicott to Bion and Beyond, edited by Caron Harrang, Drew Tillotson, and Nancy C. Winters, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2022, 246 pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 281–286.
Body as Psychoanalytic Object: Clinical Applications from Winnicott to Bion and Beyond explores the role of the body in analysis from an object relations perspective. Despite the aim of integrating disparate realms of experience, psychoanalysis seems to struggle with its own mind-body problem. Following Freud’s emphasis on the body’s foundational role in psychic life, the field has largely retreated into the mind and away from the body, referring to Tsolas and Anzieu-Premmeurer’s 2018 book, A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Body in Today’s World (p. 6). States of mind are valorized, whereas the body is relegated to the unspoken, the private.
Turtz, J. (2023). Book Review: A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology, by Daniel José Gaztambide, Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland and London, 2019, 229 pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 83(2), 287–292.
I would venture to say that Daniel Gaztambide’s 2019 book, A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology, can already be called a classic. It is an exceptional piece of scholarship that brings to light much of psychoanalytic history that has been lost, ignored, and pushed into the darkness. A core element of the psychoanalytic process involves looking for and probing into gaps and omissions in the patient’s narrative. At a larger scale, then, we need to probe into what has been omitted from our psychoanalytic history and ask how this has occurred and how reintegrating this lost history can impact psychoanalysis today.