The Analyst's Preconscious

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How do the analyst's consciously held theoretical commitments intersect with the actual conduct of analysis? Do commitments to notions like "psychic truth" or "analytic neutrality" affect interpretive style, the willingness to acknowledge treatment mistakes, and other pragmatic preferences? Does the commitment to certain concepts entail commitment to related ideas and practices to the exclusion of others? This is the uncharted domain that Victoria Hamilton explores in The Analyst's Preconscious. At the heart of her endeavor is an imaginatively conceived empirical investigation revolving around in-depth interviews with 65 leading analysts in the United States and Britain. In these lively and free-ranging discussions, the reader encounters firsthand the thoughtfulness with which practitioners wrestle with the ambiguous relations between various theoretical positions, whether or not their own, and the exigencies of the therapeutic encounter.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Analyst's Preconscious is the most innovative book on psychoanalytic theory in print today. Victoria Hamilton adots a totally new perspective on the understanding of psychoanalytic theories and, in so doing, provides an enlightening commentary on the evolution of psychoanalytic ideas. Her grasp of psychoanalytic theory is breathtaking, and her book makes an essential companion to any course that aims to convey that theory in a comprehensive way. At the same time, it will provide all practitioners with profound insights into the ways in which their learning translates into the styles and strategies of everyday clinical work."

- Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., University College, London

"Early on in my reading of Victoria Hamilton's The Analyst's Preconscious, I became astonished that nobody had written on this subject before. One reason may be: What an enormous amount of work! Hamilton's rigor, fairmindedness, and clarity are exemplary, and her very readable interviews provide the best view I can imagine of how analysts really think about what they do. Though this was undoubtedly not part of Hamilton's intention, her book is a tribute to her profession."

- Marcia Cavell, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

"Victoria Hamilton succeeds in getting right into the minds of analysts of different persuasions, and in demonstrating the great and often unexpected differences in the way they approach their work. This is a beautifully written, fascinating, and highly stimulating account of a major research project, the results of which will undoubtedly demolish many cherished ideas about the different schools of psychoanalysis and the ways in which different practitioners structure their analytic technique."

- Joseph Sandler, Ph.D., University of London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881632217
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria Hamilton, Ph.D., studied art and philosophy before undertaking clinical training at the Tavistock Clinic and postgraduate study at the Psychoanalysis Unit of the University of London. Dr. Hamilton is now a Supervising and Training Analyst at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, where she practices adult and child psychoanalysis. She is the author of Narcissus and Oedipus (1982).

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Pluralism and Belief 19
Ch. 3 "One Is Not Neutral About Psychic Truth" 41
Ch. 4 Objective Reality and the "Real Relationship": Freudian Views 71
Ch. 5 Objective Reality and the "Real Relationship": British Independent, Kleinian, and American Self-Psychological Views 103
Ch. 6 Containment and the Holding Environment: American Analysts 127
Ch. 7 Holding and Containment: British Analysts 147
Ch. 8 Do Patient Really Love: Their Analysts? 165
Ch. 9 Countertransference: Affective, Cognitive, and Imaginative Responsiveness 191
Ch. 10 The Analysts's Model of Change 223
Ch. 11 The Reparative Process 249
Ch. 12 Dream Interpretation in Contemporary Psychoanalysis 281
Afterword 309
Appendix 319
References 333
Index 337
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