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A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and NeurosciencePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychoanalysis as Biological SciencePsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis in a New LightPsychoanalysis in FocusPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy As PraxisPutnam CampQuestions for FreudRe-Inventing the SymptomReading Seminar XXReinventing the SoulRelational Theory and the Practice of PsychotherapyRelationalityRepressed SpacesRevolt, She SaidSecrets of the SoulSerious ShoppingSex on the CouchSexuationSigmund FreudSoul Murder RevisitedSpectral EvidenceSpirit, Mind, and BrainStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherSubjectivity and OthernessSubstance Abuse As SymptomSurrealist Painters and PoetsTaboo SubjectsTalk is Not EnoughThe Arabic FreudThe Art of the SubjectThe Brain and the Inner WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek
The Brain, the Mind and the Self: A psychoanalytic road map aims to clarify misconceptions about these three key concepts using psychoanalytic examples. The author argues that there has been a gradual separation of psychoanalysis from psychiatry and that there is a unique place for psychoanalysis beyond the confines of the medical realm. The author Dr. Arnold Goldberg was trained in psychoanalysis and has seen firsthand this changing trajectory as well as the separation of the two.
The book is organized into three parts. Part one, "Distinguishing the brain, the mind and the self" aims to provide an understanding of these concepts. It encompasses chapters 1 to 5. Chapter 1 outlines the concepts, the brain, the mind and the self, and argues why each is discrete, but connected. In this chapter, the author does identify the challenge associated with defining these concepts as they have multiple interpretations depending on the philosophical standpoint one takes. To support his argument and to provide clarification of the terms, he provides helpful examples. The second chapter argues that psychoanalysis has a place within neuroscience as a way to understand the reasons people present as they do. In chapter 3, the author argues that psychoanalysis cannot be thought of in the same way as other scientific approaches in medicine, but instead as a way to understand individuals and their experiences within the world. It is at this point that he furthers his argument that psychoanalysis is a hermeneutic science. Although the reader begins to develop a sense of what is meant by psychoanalysis as a hermeneutic science, it is not until later in the book that it is more fully characterized. In chapter 4, the author begins to outline the separation of psychoanalysis from psychiatry. Moving into chapter 5 he argues that unlike contemporary psychiatry, which defines presentations diagnostically with a focus on psychopathology, the goal of psychoanalysis is to understand individuals. As such, he posits that such a separation makes sense as psychiatric diagnoses may not align with psychoanalysis. His argument is that psychoanalysis does not aim to treat individuals like other forms of therapy, but to understand them.
The middle part "The newer models of the mind and the self" encompasses chapters 6 to 8. This section aims to locate the concepts of mind and self beyond biochemical brain function. In chapter 6, the author argues that the mind is needed for therapeutic interactions. He argues that for therapeutic relationships to exist, both the patient and therapist need to be active within the interaction; that the interaction involves thinking about one another and is reciprocal. Chapter 7 follows on this argument by discussing the complexity of empathy. The author argues that empathy exists as a concept beyond neurochemical brain activity, within a philosophical sphere. In chapter 8, introducing self-empathy furthers the concept of empathy. This is the idea that our own understanding of ourselves is important for understanding others and thus is important for a psychoanalyst.
The third part, "Clinical examples of the special role of psychoanalysis" encompasses chapters 9 to 13. This section provides examples of how psychoanalysis can provide a complementary yet different approach to mental health and its care, compared to psychiatry. The author begins chapter 9 by recognizing ways in which psychoanalysis risks further division. He argues that this is due to the diverse nature of psychoanalytic theory. He suggests that finding some unifying elements would assist in strengthening the profession. In chapters 10 and 11, the author suggests that enthusiasm and anger are important aspects of the human experience, which could be a focus for psychoanalysis. The final two chapters, 12 and 13, argue that psychoanalysis and psychiatry are different entities and thus psychoanalysis likely needs to further the gradual separation which has been taking place for years, in order to further grow. The argument is that the focus of psychoanalysis is on complex understandings, whereas psychiatry is shifting towards diagnosis and psychopharmacological treatment.
What begins with the goal of defining concepts and locating them within the space of psychoanalysis largely reads as an argument as to why psychoanalysis should exist, and appears to attempt to recruit interested individuals into the field. It is likely not a coincidence that the author chose to write this book at a time when, as he identifies, enrollment in psychoanalytic societies/organizations is declining. Within the first chapter, the author does briefly describe the importance of the concept of understanding using philosophers such as Martin Heidegger. Although brief, it is fitting in that he explicitly states the book is intended for individuals without a philosophy background.
This book is an interesting read on the author's perspectives of how the world of psychoanalysis has changed over time. Some of the examples used to illustrate points are at times questionable, in that some are examples of physicians having inappropriate relationships with patients and how psychoanalysis could assist in understanding this. It is unclear if these examples are used because perhaps this is the author's area of expertise/interest or as a way to further separate psychoanalysis from psychiatric medicine. For me, it weakened the author's arguments at times, as it was distracting from the overall arguments being made.
Overall, this is an interesting book addressing the course and trajectory of psychoanalysis. Despite a complex subject area, the writing within this book is clear and concise while making important arguments about the unique nature of psychoanalysis and its movements away from psychiatry.
© 2016 Katherine McKay,
Katherine McKay, MD, Psychiatry Resident Year 4, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Supervised by: Abraham Rudnick, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada