Subjects of Analysis / Edition 1

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Subjects of Analysis, the fourth of Thomas Ogden's books, explores the frontier of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking: the experience of analyst and analysand in the dynamic interplay of subjectivity (the individual 'I-ness' of each participant) and intersubjectivity (the 'shared' experience of the analytic pair). No longer are transference and countertransference considered to have meaning (as concepts or as experiences) except in relation to one another; each is the context in which the other is generated and understood. In the course of this discussion, Ogden introduces the idea of the 'intersubjective analytic third' in his effort to conceptualize the interdependence of subject and object, of transference and countertransference, in the analytic process. This book offers a way of understanding and making use of a critical dimension of the analytic experience that is rarely spoken about by psychotherapists and analysts, and even less frequently written about in the analytic literature: the ordinary, moment-to-moment experience of the analyst in the analytic setting, including his most mundane thoughts about the minutiae of his 'outside life,' his obsessional ruminations, daydreams, sexual fantasies, distractedness, bodily sensations and worries, and so on. This highly personal, very ordinary, almost invisible aspect of the analyst's experience in the consulting room is viewed as having been created freshly as an analytic object in the unique context of the analytic relationship as it has developed to that moment of the analysis. Too often, this sort of experience has been dismissed as 'the analyst's own stuff' that must be filtered as extraneous 'psychological noise.' For Ogden, this mundane/personal background of analytic experience is seen as an important manifestation of the analyst's experience in the intersubjective analytic third to which the analyst must attempt to gain conscious access and must learn to utilize in the formulation of his interpretations and other forms of intervention.

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Editorial Reviews

Glen O. Gabbard
In this brilliant contribution to psychoanalytic theory and practice, Thomas Ogden has once again challenged psychoanalytic clinicians to expand the conceptual envelope that confines and constricts their work. Sounding the death knell for the positivist view of patient and analyst as discrete subject and object, he forges a contemporary, decentered entity—the analytic third. This joint creation is neither subject nor object but a fortuitous convergence of two subjectivities that form the crucible of the analytic enterprise. Clinicians who read this book will find that their work is profoundly transformed. Ogden has provided us with one of the most original and compelling contributions in recent years.
James S. Grotstein
Thomas Ogden has already achieved a reputation as a gifted contributor to the psychoanalytic literature. His ability to integrate the complexities of object relations theory and to innovate upon them with such rare creativity has long been recognized internationally. In his latest work, Subjects of Analysis, he transcends this reputation. This book is a work of dedication, of beauty, and of art. It helps us to come to grips with a depth and with a totality of intersubjective intimacy in analytic work that has hitherto been difficult to conceive. One's work with patients and how one conceptualizes it will be forever changed from the experience of reading these pages. Mine already has.
Stephen A. Mitchell
Subjects of Analysis is a work of incomparable significance for the field of psychoanalysis. Ogden reworks and recombines the basic contributions of Freud, Klein, and Winnicott to create a vision of the analytic process that has never existed before—startling in its freshness, moving in its depth and integrity. But Ogden's work has broader significance, beyond psychoanalysis, as one of the most powerful and poetic renderings of the forms and textures in the struggle of people at the end of the twentieth century for personal meaning and interpersonal connection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568218038
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas H. Ogden, M.D., is a graduate of Amherst College, the Yale School of Medicine, and the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. He 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 On Becoming a Subject 1
2 The Freudian Subject 13
3 Toward an Intersubjective Conception of the Subject: The Kleinian Contribution 33
4 Winnicott's Intersubjective Subject 49
5 The Analytic Third: Working with Intersubjective Clinical Facts 61
6 Projective Identification and the Subjugating Third 97
7 The Concept of Interpretive Action 107
8 Analyzing the Matrix of the Transference-Countertransference 137
9 Personal Isolation: The Breakdown of Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity 167
10 Questions of Analytic Theory and Practice 183
References 203
Index 219
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