Psychoanalytic Disagreements in Context
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Psychoanalytic Disagreements in Context

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Contemporary psychoanalysts are eclectic and believe they use the best ideas from each of our numerous competing theoretic models. However, there is confusion and controversy about what constitutes 'best.' Critical differences between these theories are about inferences concerning the disguised meaning of what patients tell us. There can be no meaning without context but we have never developed a consensus about how we establish context (contextualization). This book offers a number of detailed clinical examples to illustrate how confusion about contextualization serves as the source of some of our most important disagreements.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 147.32 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765705567
  • 9780765705563

Review quote

This is an important and badly needed book, dealing as it does with a not just markedly unresolved, but an also strangely unattended, major handicap to both clinical and theoretical advance in psychoanlysis. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association In this innovative contribution of historical importance, Boesky provides a break-through way for psychoanalysis to move beyond its present Babel of Pluralism. While valuing each of the various analytic points of view, Boesky shows that there can never bea simple Rosetta stone for translating one psychoanalytic point of view into another. However, he then moves beyond that limitation to develop brilliantly a methodology for comparison of analytic understandings, taking us from examination of what we think to that of how we think. Boesky proposes and elucidates the promise of contextualization, clarifying an essential vocabulary and opening the way for appreciation, comparison and integration of various psychoanalytic understandings. While doing all ofthis, Boesky takes us beyond false battles, such as that of analysis as a scientific versus a hermeneutic enterprise. And what makes this major leap forward in our thinking all the more estimable is the uncommon clarity with which Boesky exposes the issues, their development, and the possibilities for resolution. The book is readable, indeed reading like an engaging conversation. This work, respectful of diversity, expresses a rare passion for inquiry shaped by precision of thought. It is an essent -- Warren S. Poland, author, Melting the Darkness Boesky tackles the key epistemological issue in contemporary psychoanalytic theoretical debate and its relation to clinical evidence in our search for sound knowledge and effective therapy. By brilliantly exploiting the idea of rules of contextualization, Boesky illuminates the ways in which theory-testing based on clinical evidence can fail because of undeclared, yet crucial, disagreements about what counts as evidence. This book provides a new compass for steering a course beyond chronic controversy toward knowledge. -- Charles Hanly, president-elect, International Psychoanalytic Association In this courageous book, based on a lifetime of experience, Dale Boesky challenges psychoanalysts to recognize their failure to meet the requirements for substantive clinical dialogue and comparison of theoretical positions. Grounding his discussion in extensive, detailed clinical material, he argues persuasively that what passes for dialogue and comparison too often involves incommensurate presentations or appraisals. One of his most important contributions is to delineate and emphasize the need for attention to disagreements between analysts who share a particular perspective. Focusing on contextualization (a concept he explains and illustrates fully) of the patient's associative material and the analyst's, he offers a realistic path toward achievement of meaningful comparison between some (though not all) psychoanalytic perspectives-an outstanding achievement. -- Anton Kris M.D., training and supervising analyst, The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute; clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Throughout the book, the author writes in a scholarly manner, yet is erudite in his negotiating some very difficult psychoanalytic questions... In sum, Boesky's book is for the serious clinician who is no longer under sway of the one-person model of psychoanalytic technique but needs to be further grounded in the two-person model so that psychoanalytic technique can be approached with a degree of knowledge and security as efforts are continually made to expand the psychoanalytic enterprise. Psychotherapy Review Contemporary psychoanalysis is marked by a multitude of theories, and with them, disputes about theory. Dale Boesky finds that much of the time when we disagree vigorously we are actually talking past each other. Boesky offers the outline of a method of comparative psychoanalysis that will separate real disagreements from noisy misunderstandings, and as a result will allow us to compare the ways in which different analysts, using different theories, approach clinical material and reach clinical inferences. He illustrates his argument with case material, both his own and others, and confronts the major questions of our science. In Psychoanalytic Disagreements in Context, he does not provide us with answers, but instead offers a systematic strategy for identifying critical differences and assembles the relevant data that help to resolve them. -- Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University; supervising and training analyst, Columbia In this innovative contribution of historical importance, Boesky provides a break-through way for psychoanalysis to move beyond its present Babel of Pluralism. While valuing each of the various analytic points of view, Boesky shows that there can never be a simple Rosetta stone for translating one psychoanalytic point of view into another. However, he then moves beyond that limitation to develop brilliantly a methodology for comparison of analytic understandings, taking us from examination of what we think to that of how we think. Boesky proposes and elucidates the promise of contextualization, clarifying an essential vocabulary and opening the way for appreciation, comparison and integration of various psychoanalytic understandings. While doing all of this, Boesky takes us beyond false battles, such as that of analysis as a scientific versus a hermeneutic enterprise. And what makes this major leap forward in our thinking all the more estimable is the uncommon clarity with which Boesky exposes the issues, their development, and the possibilities for resolution. The book is readable, indeed reading like an engaging conversation. This work, respectful of diversity, expresses a rare passion for inquiry shaped by precision of thought. It is an essential reading for all analytic thinkers, having the capacity to move future analytic debate from parochial polemics to constructive discourse -- Warren S. Poland, author, Melting the Darkness [Boesky] advances and illustrates his arguments...He also takes the reader through an in-depth and sophisticated review of the relevant literature in the philosophy of science...This is an important book for those involved in psychoanalytical education and training. PsycCRITIQUES, November 2008show more

About Dale Boesky

Dale Boesky is the past editor-in-chief of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. He is a training and supervising analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.show more

Table of contents

Part 1 Acknowledgements Part 2 Preface Chapter 3 Introduction Part 4 Clinical Examples Chapter 5 Psychoanalytic Controversies Contextualized: A Model of Clinical Disputes Chapter 6 Comparative Psychoanalysis: What Should We Compare? Chapter 7 Memory Recovery as Viewed in One-Person Compared with Two-Person Theoretical Models Chapter 8 Free Associations: Which Ones Count? Part 9 Associations, Contextualization and Hermeneutics Chapter 10 Another Kind of Incompleteness: Associations and Interpretation Chapter 11 Contextualizing Criteria Chapter 12 Contextualization and Hermeneuticsshow more

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