Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pre-Publication Announcement: Shared Realities

Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond
Mark Winborn (Editor), Fisher King Press (forthcoming, early 2014)

Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond brings together Jungian analysts and psychoanalysts from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Jung’s concept of participation mystique is used as a starting point for an in depth exploration of ‘shared realities’ in the analytic setting and beyond. The clinical, narrative, and theoretical discussions move through such related areas as: projective identification, negative coniunctio, reverie, intersubjectivity, the interactive field, phenomenology, neuroscience, the transferential chimera, shamanism, shared reality of place, borderland consciousness, and mystical participation. This unique collection of essays bridges theoretical orientations and includes some of the most original analytic writers of our time (approximately 320 pages).

Introduction: An Overview of Participation Mystique
    Mark Winborn
Negative Coniunctio: Envy and Sadomasochism in Analysis
    Pamela Power
Trauma, Participation Mystique, Projective Identification and Analytic Attitude
    Marcus West
Watching the Clouds: Analytic Reverie and Participation Mystique
    Mark Winborn
Modern Kleinian Therapy, Jung’s Participation Mystique,
and the Projective Identification Process
    Robert Waska
Songs Never Heard Before: Listening and Living Differently
in Shared Realities
    Dianne Braden
Variants of Mystical Participation
    Michael Eigen
Participation Mystique in Peruvian Shamanism
    Deborah Bryon
Healing Our Split: Participation Mystique and C. G. Jung
    Jerome Bernstein
The Transferential Chimera and Neuroscience
    Fran├žois Martin-Vallas
Toward a Phenomenology of Participation Mystique and a Reformulation
of Jungian Philosophical Anthropology
    John White
    Mark Winborn.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

William Meredith-Owen: Are Relational Assumptions Eroding Traditional Analysis?

Abstract (p. 593): “The author designates as ‘traditional’ those elements of psychoanalytic presumption and practice that have, in the wake of [Michael] Fordham’s legacy, helped to inform analytical psychology and expand our capacity to integrate the shadow. It is argued that this element of the broad spectrum of Jungian practice is in danger of erosion by the underlying assumptions of the relational approach, which is fast becoming the new establishment. If the maps of the traditional landscape of symbolic reference (primal scene, Oedipus et al.) are disregarded, analysts are left with only their own self-appointed authority with which to orientate themselves. This self-centric epistemological basis of the relationalists leads to a revision of ‘analytic attitude’ that may be therapeutic but is not essentially analytic. This theme is linked to the perennial challenge of balancing differentiation and merger and traced back, through Chasseguet-Smirgel, to its roots in Genesis.
     An endeavour is made to illustrate this within the Journal convention of clinically based discussion through a commentary on [Warren] Colman’s (2013) avowedly relational treatment of the case material presented in his recent Journal paper ‘Reflections on knowledge and experience’ and through an assessment of Jessica Benjamin’s (2004) relational critique of Ron Britton’s (1989) transference embodied approach.”

From Conclusion (p. 609): “I still find myself inclined to resist this complete erosion of the symbolic realm. However, in the spirit of eschewing nebulousness and pretension, I would not claim for it any further remit beyond what is embodied in our (implicit) assumptions about the mother and the father, their intercourse, and our relationship to that. It is this that has given rise to the structured landscape of triangulation that has been a part of our psyche’s culture since Genesis and which ‘analytic attitude’ based clinical practice has shown we can reliably expect to encounter in the transference. A quintessential expression of this viewpoint was given by Roger Money-Kyrle (1971) in his last paper, aptly entitled ‘The aims of psycho-analysis’, the chief of which he defines as helping ‘the patient understand, and so overcome, emotional impediments to his discovering what he innately already knows’.”

William Meredith-Owen (2013) Are Waves of Relational Assumptions Eroding Traditional Analysis? Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 58, pp. 593–614.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Psychoanalytic Fair - Feb 8, 2014 Columbia University, NYC

Psychoanalytic Fair: Unity and Diversity, February 8, 2014
Teacher's College, Columbia University

The Psychoanalytic Fair will bring together a large number of area psychoanalytic institutes under one roof to provide detailed information about their training programs. Interested students and the public at large will be able to conveniently collect this diverse information in one place. Participating institutes will provide brochures and will have representatives to answer questions. A distinguished panel of presenters will be speaking on the relevance of psychoanalysis in the 21st century and issues in psychoanalytic training. 

More information available here:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stefano Bolognini on Psychoanalytic Empathy

Editor's Note: Stefano Bolognini is the current President of the International Psychoanalytic Association and the first Italian to be elected to that position.

"I have chosen to focus on certain specific elements, since my interest is to highlight some fundamental points which I shall briefly summarize:

- Empathy is a complex state which is not limited to concordance with the patient’s conscious ego-syntonic experience (the hypothesis of gross “simplifiers”), nor with a specific conscious or unconscious part privileged by a particular theory (such as Kohut’s “wounded narcissistic self”). On the contrary, it requires space and suspension for an elaborate identification with the various areas and internal levels of the patient.
- Empathy cannot be planned because it comes about through occasional, undeterminable openings of the preconscious channels of the analyst, the patient or both.

- The analyst’s training gives him on average an advantage over most other people in being able to create the intra- and interpsychic conditions suitable for the development of empathic situations with greater ease and in a more elaborate way.
Empathy has nothing to do with kind-heartedness or sympathy, because it may come about through a type of identification which in itself is not particularly flattering or gratifying, made possible sometimes by the specific resonance with corresponding “undesirable” areas in the psychoanalyst or his negative feelings.

- Psychoanalytic empathy includes the possibility to accede over time and through the working through of the countertransference to the reintegration of split-off components, whose existence is not only hypothesized – in the manner of engineers around a drawing board – but experienced and recognized by the fully aware analyst.
If the conscious is the natural seat of the organization and formalization of experience “in the light of the ego”, the preconscious is the place for the exploration of the experience of one’s own self and that of others."
Stefano Bolognini, "The Complex Nature of Psychoanalytic Empathy," accessed from his personal blog -
His thoughts on this subject are explored in greater depth in his 2004 book Psychoanalytic Empathy (Free Association Books).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Interactive Website for APA Division 39 Review

APA Division 39 Review - New interactive website for Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) Review - DIVISION/Review is a quarterly psychoanalytic forum of review essays, commentary, interviews and discussion. It is open to viewpoints from across the spectrum of psychoanalytic schools and disciplines. DIVISION/Review will primarily address topics related to clinical psychoanalysis, but also to cultural and intellectual fields beyond that focus. Read the current and/or back issues and then comment or start a new discussion thread.