Electrified Tightrope

Overview

A collection of exceptional papers by Michael Eigen, selected and assembled by Adam Phillips, that represent 20 years of writing and 30 years of work. The papers examine the tension, caused by the conflict between poise and catastrophe, in the therapeutic relationship. This volume contains a thought-provoking introduction from Adam Phillips and includes introductory notes for the chapters and a detailed Afterword by Michael Eigen.

"Eigen is one of the dozen or so most interesting psychoanalysts writing today. ...

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The Electrified Tightrope

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Overview

A collection of exceptional papers by Michael Eigen, selected and assembled by Adam Phillips, that represent 20 years of writing and 30 years of work. The papers examine the tension, caused by the conflict between poise and catastrophe, in the therapeutic relationship. This volume contains a thought-provoking introduction from Adam Phillips and includes introductory notes for the chapters and a detailed Afterword by Michael Eigen.

"Eigen is one of the dozen or so most interesting psychoanalysts writing today. "The Electrified Tightrope" presents him in his familiar function as scholar-healer; his speciality: the construction and reconstruction of the breathing, seeing, moving, electric, and, yes, electrifying self. For the mental health practitioner, what Eigen presents are a hundred points of entry. What may seem in our work dim, dismal, even worrisomely "disruptive moments" are show by him to be "necessary steps" in the "profound process by ego repair or formation". Writing from a base that includes institutional and clinical care as well as the private practice, he has much to say to workers everywhere: And how he writes! Don't miss his Afterword or Adam Phillips' elegantly attuned introduction." — Harold N. Boris

"Michael Eigen's writings on psychoanalysis represent a unique clinical and theoretical contribution. Of the many psychoanalysts writing today, Eigen is one of the few who have captured in writing the emotional intensity of the analyst's encounter with himself as well as his patients. Not content to coast on the surface provided by a professional language, Eigen pushes psychoanalytic theory into the vortex of lived experience of anxiety and pain, but also hope. Even as he is enveloping his radical devotion to phenomenological reality in the Winnicottian tradition, Eigen refuses to throw out Freudian theory – as he writes, "We do not know what to do with this multiplicity, but we are not free to evade it." Even when he is the theoretical virtuoso, he offers the reader a sense of one mind working to fathom another mind. And even as he conveys the struggle of analyst and patient to overcome the deadness of not feeling, he offers no facile rhetoric of authenticity, no sense of having the answer. It is hard to imagine any clinician or scholar who will not be moved by Eigen's writing to feel and understand the psychoanalytic project afresh." — Jessica Benjamin
( Previously published 1993 by Jason Aronson Inc)

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A collection of 20 essays, written over as many years, in which Eigen (psychoanalysis, New York U.) explores the therapist's and the patient's capacity for experience, how it can be sustained, and both the blunt and the subtle ways it can be sabotaged. Accessible to the general reader. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781855753969
  • Publisher: Karnac Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 1,006,255
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Eigen is a psychologist and psychoanalyst as well as a senior member and training analyst with the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and supervisor for the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. His other books include Damaged Bonds, Rage, The Electrified Tightrope and Feeling Matters.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Introductory Notes
1 Abstinence and the Schizoid Ego 1
2 Psychopathy and Individuation 9
3 The Recoil on Having Another Person 21
4 Working with "Unwanted" Patients 25
5 Breathing and Identity 43
6 The Significance of the Face 49
7 Instinctual Fantasy and Ideal Images 61
8 Creativity, Instinctual Fantasy, and Ideal Images 77
9 Ideal Images, Creativity, and the Freudian Drama 95
10 Soft and Hard Qualities 105
11 The Area of Faith in Winnicott, Lacan, and Bion 109
12 Guntrip's Analysis with Winnicott 139
13 Breaking the Frame: Stopping the World 147
14 Dual Union or Undifferentiation? 157
15 The Structure of Freud's Theory of Creativity 177
16 Demonized Aspects of the Self 181
17 Between Catastrophe and Faith 211
18 Omnipotence 227
19 Mindlessness-Selflessness 237
20 Omniscience 243
Afterword 259
Credits 279
Index 283
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