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 entitythe 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.
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.
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 beforestartling 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.