Relationality: From Attachment to Intersubjectivity [NOOK Book]

Overview

Within the psychoanalytic literature, the past several decades have witnessed an explosion of new data, concepts, and theories bearing on the myriad ways in which people relate to, interact with, and, in their interior structures, are even composed of, each other. These contributions have emerged from various traditions and have been cast in different terminologies. Attachment, object-seeking, intersubjectivity, field theory, systems theory, the interpersonal field, "now moments," and "relational moves" figure ...
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Relationality: From Attachment to Intersubjectivity

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Overview

Within the psychoanalytic literature, the past several decades have witnessed an explosion of new data, concepts, and theories bearing on the myriad ways in which people relate to, interact with, and, in their interior structures, are even composed of, each other. These contributions have emerged from various traditions and have been cast in different terminologies. Attachment, object-seeking, intersubjectivity, field theory, systems theory, the interpersonal field, "now moments," and "relational moves" figure prominently among the terms that have been invoked to describe different facets of the relational matrix within which human experience transpires. Despite this profusion of overlapping ideas and concerns, however, there has been little systematic effort at critical synthesis.

It is the need for just such synthesis that animates Stephen A. Mitchell, a major architect of what has come to be known as "relational psychoanalysis." In previous books, Mitchell has contributed to naming, defining, and elaborating the relational turn in psychoanalysis both in theory and in clinical practice. Now, in Relationality: From Attachment to Intersubjectivity, Mitchell provides a broad integrative framework for understanding the relationships among recent psychoanalytic concepts that delineate various aspects of human relatedness.

Mitchell begins with a thorough examination of the seminal work of Hans Loewald, which he draws on to develop a framework for housing different psychoanalytic concepts according to their respective modes or levels of organization. He goes on to explore the relationship between the rich research tradition on attachment that has grown out of John Bowlby's work and the theoretical and clinical insights embodied in W. R. D. Fairbairn's object relations theory. Ever appreciative of the radical implications of Fairbairn's theory, he argues against the dilution of Fairbairn's vision in recent "mixed models" theorizing. Mitchell concludes by employing his framework of relationality to explore the complex workings of love and hate on both sides of the analytic relationship and the clinical choices with which these workings confront the clinician on a daily basis. Here, as in his previous writings, Mitchell espouses a clinical approach equally notable for its responsiveness and its responsible restraint.

Out of Mitchell's integrative agenda emerges a comprehensive examination of the relational perspective in psychoanalysis that systematizes its components and documents its indebtedness to the various traditions on which it has drawn. For Mitchell, it is the voices of Loewald, Bowlby, Fairbairn, and H. S. Sullivan in particular that converge in apprehending the fundamental relationality of mind. A model of wide-ranging and judicious scholarship infused with clinical wisdom and originality of conception, Relationality "signals a new height in Mitchell's always illuminating writing" (Nancy Chodorow) and marks the "coming of age" of the relational perspective in psychoanalysis (Peter Fonagy).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This particular volume, like so much of Mitchell’s work, is noteworthy for its sparkling originality and creativity. It is written with obvious care, great honesty, clarity, and structure. . . [It] exhibits many facets of Stephen Mitchell’s ability to create, interpret, and transmit psychoanalytic theory.”

- Mark Somerstein, Psychoanalytic Social Work

"Relationality imparts new theoretical depth, substance, and complexity to relational psychoanalysis, systematizing its different components and documenting how it has been saturated by various historical strands within psychoanalysis. It especially develop's Mitchell's sense of the fundamental contributions of Loewald, Fairbairn, and Bowlby. With Enormous respect and even-handed clarity, with often lyrical prose infused with warmth and humor, and with richly elaboraed clinical examples, this book comes from Mitchell's own heart yet shows his mind at its most creative, original, and integrative. It signals a new height in his always illuminating writing."

- Nancy J. Chodorow, Ph.D., Author, The Power of Feelings

"In this book the relational perspective 'comes of age.' Mitchell brings his supreme confidence in navigating psychoanalytic theories to bear on the evolution of the relational perspective. The relationality of mind is placed in the context of the psychoanalytic tradition and out of it evolves a highly satisfying and elegantly integrated approach tht is respectful of other traditions while casting them in a fresh light. The result is a compelling new psychoanalytic theory for he 21st Century. Relationality is a remarkable achievement of creative scholarship that should be read by every psychodynamic clinician concerned with human relatedness."

- Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University College London

"Stephen Mitchell's writing is always a delight and an education. In Relationality, with his characteristic lucidity, Mitchell explores the multiple dimensions and nuances of relationality, attachment, intersubjectivity, and systems theory. He shows the voices of Loewald, Fairbairn, Bowlby, Winnicott, and Sullivan converge and can be interwoven. His masterful and creative close reading on Loewald makes him accessible in a brand new way and could even stand on its own. Complementing Mitchell's theoretical erudition is a clinical responsiveness equally notable for its responsible restraint. He provides clinical examples of how to make use of ourselves and our spontaneity with respect to thoughtfulness, and he does so without endorsing an 'anything goes' mentality. Mitchell does far more than illuminate theory; in fresh and delightful ways, with grace and compassion, he illuminates people. For any course on relational theory this gem of a book should be at the top of the reading list."

- Susan Coates, Ph.D., Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781317771074
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/2014
  • Series: Relational Perspectives Book Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Part I: From Ghosts to Ancestors: The Psychoanalytic Vison of Hans Loewald                     
1 Language and Reality 
2 Drives and Objects
Part II: Levels of Organization
3 An Interactional Hierarchy
4 Attachment Theory and Relationality
5 Between Paradigms: Fairbairn's Theory of Object Relations  Intersubjectivity
6 Expressiveness and Restraint in the Analytic Relationship
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