Conversations at the Frontier of Dreaming

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Dr. Thomas Ogden is the most widely read psychoanalyst writing today. This, his most important book, describes how one thinks and works as an analyst; how to increase the capacity to feel in a visceral way in the alive moments of a session; and how, through close attention to the nuances of language, gestures, and actions, to grasp the intersubjective construction the patient and therapist are creating.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Child Psychotherapy
Not since Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment have I read a book through at a single sitting—and that was 35 years ago. I did so again, when I first came across Conversations at the Frontier of Dreaming. That being so, I readily agreed to review the book. Now that it is time to do so, however, I realize how rash an offer that was, for the thrill and immediacy of the experience of Ogden's thinking make it extraordinarily hard to write about his thinking. Ogden's evocative, ebullient, and idiosyncratic way of putting things, on his lively capacity to draw almost-thoughts up towards the light, to address such elusive and profound matters as creativity, meaning, and unconscious communication. This is not a way of thinking and writing that can easily be paraphrased by a reviewer.
From The Critics
Dr. Ogden, affiliated with the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and in private practice in San Francisco, contends that psychoanalytic discourse is "at the frontier of dreaming." This frontier is between the unconscious and preconscious, and metaphor is the lingua franca in which they converse. The author applies these Freudian ideas to clinical practice; poetry (e.g. that of Frost, Borges); and to a reading of D.W. Winnicot's "Primitive Emotional Development" (1945). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765703125
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas H. Ogden, M.D., has served as an Associate Psychiatrist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and is the Co-Founder and Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of the Psychoses. Dr. Ogden is a Supervising and Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and a member of the Faculty of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute.

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Table of Contents

1 Conversations at the Frontier of Dreaming 1
2 Reverie and Metaphor: Some Thoughts on How I Work as a Psychoanalyst 15
3 A Question of Voice 47
4 "The Music of What Happens" in Poetry and Psychoanalysis 77
5 Borges and the Art of Mourning 115
6 Re-Minding the Body 153
7 An Elegy, a Love Song and a Lullaby 175
8 Reading Winnicott 203
References 237
Index 249
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