A neat compendium of some of Freud's most important writings. Each piece is introduced by Peter Gay, which aids in making clear the writing's themes a...moreA neat compendium of some of Freud's most important writings. Each piece is introduced by Peter Gay, which aids in making clear the writing's themes and relevance. Before you purchase Penguin book after Penguin book of Freud's work, check out the contents of this book, as chances are that most of what you'd want to read are already collected in this convenient volume. One thing I am constantly surprised by is the clarity with which Freud writes (especially in comparison to other Psychoanalysts, ie Lacan, Jung). I have recently become familiar with Lacanian theory (through the writings of Bruce Fink), and I have come to realise how much more enlightening these writings are when one attempts to read them with a Lacanian-eye/mind.(less)
This book presents valuable discussions exploring the transference, counter transference, dream interpretation, and Lacanian analysis as non-normalisi...moreThis book presents valuable discussions exploring the transference, counter transference, dream interpretation, and Lacanian analysis as non-normalising therapy. In a Western country of which normalisation is forced down the throats of those experiencing issues with existence, the chapter regarding normalisation came as refreshing and strengthening. Strengthening, I think, perhaps because it's heartening to see that not all groups that are involved in helping others with their anguish are simply medicalising, agents of moralisation.
Fink also presents a swift gutting of the psychoanalytic concept of Projective Identification, and portrays it as nothing more than a disavowing of the counter transference, which leaves the analysand to blame for everything the analyst feels throughout the therapeutic process. Projective Identification, according to Fink, is simply another means of normalisation, which implicitly and covertly states, that the ways in which an analyst reacts to the analysand's story is the way in which the analysand should react to that particular (potentially traumatic) experience. So, for example, if I were an analyst, and I react to an analysand's tale of child-loss with grief and dismay (but the analysand is not showing these particular reactions, but is in fact apathetic), it is postulated that those feelings that I (the analyst) am feeling are simply split off from the analysand, and have somehow, magically, transported into myself to experience. These reactions are then taken as normal reactions on the analyst's behalf, and any experience or socially constructed reason for the analysand in feeling apathy towards the death of her child is thrown to the wind. Projective Identification therefore posits that there are absolute ways in which an individual will and must react to a particular situation, and any other way of reacting is unthinkable, or 'abnormal'. With Projective Identification, the analyst sits in the position a Master, of sorts - a Master that knows what is normal and what is 'abnormal.'
The book also contains a valuable and highly interesting chapter that examines the analysis of psychotics, and how it differs from analysis with neurotics. Fink states that the delusions that psychotics experience are not 'part of a disease', but are a part of the healing process. Delusions are the means of which a psychotic attempts to find a place for themselves within society. A place of which they have previously been excluded and deprived of, due to a reaction against the Symbolic. I found this particular chapter moving at times, as I couldn't help but think and feel awful regarding how many psychotic individuals are simply dismissed as being crazy, thrown away into institutions, and forced to take medication - a medication that may potentially wrench away their delusions, leaving the individual bereft of a place - a place that makes them feel important and necessary.
Along with The Lacanian Subject, and A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Analysis, this book helps to cement Fink as a guiding light for those that want to explore Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. (less)