Description - Kohut, Loewald and the Postmoderns by Judith Guss Teicholz
Among psychoanalysts of the 1960s and 70s, Hans Loewald and Heinz Kohut stand preeminent for the theoretical boldness and clinical originality of their writings. Yet, as we stand poised at the millennium, Loewald's and Kohut's ideas, viewed as revolutionary a mere two decades ago, have become part of conventional wisdom. Indeed, among many contemporary theorists, their writings are even considered outdated, a hindrance to the further evolution of psychoanalysis. What has happened? In Kohut, Loewald, and the Postmoderns, Judith Teicholz addresses this intriguing question with thoughtful, discerning scholarship. Using the contemporary critique of Kohut and Loewald as a touchstone of inquiry into the current status of psychoanalysis, she focuses on a select group of postmodern theorists - Lewis Aron, Jessica Benjamin, Irwin Z. Hoffman, Stephen A. Mitchell, and Owen Renik - whose recent writings comprise a questioning subtext to Kohut's and Loewald's ideas.
Acutely aware of the important differences among these theorists, Teicholz nonetheless believes that their respective contributions, which present psychoanalysis as an interactive process in which the analyst's own subjectivity plays a constitutive role in the joint construction of meanings, achieve shared significance as a postmodern critique of Kohut and Loewald. She is especially concerned with the relationship - both theoretically and technically -- between Kohut's emphasis on the analyst's empathic resonance with the analysand's viewpoint and affect, and the postmodern theorists' shared insistence on the expression of the analyst's own subjectivity in the treatment situation. What follows is an astute exercise in comparative psychoanalysis, in which Teicholz sympathetically explores the interface and divergence of ideas among Kohut, Loewald, and five leading contemporary theorists. Her analysis incorporates fine insight into the tensions and ambiguities in Kohut and Loewald, whose work ultimately emerges as a way station between modern and postmodern viewpoints.
Teicholz's appreciation of Kohut and Loewald as transitional theorists makes for an admirably even-handed exposition. She emphasizes throughout the various ways in which Kohut and Loewald gave nascent expression to postmodern attitudes, but she is no less appreciative of the originality of postmodern theorists, who address genuine lacunae in the thought and writings of these exemplars of an earlier generation. Teicholz's examination of what she terms two overlapping "partial revolutions" in psychoanalysis - that of Kohut and Loewald on one hand and of the postmoderns on the other - throws an illuminating searchlight on the path psychoanalysis has traveled over the last quarter of the 20th century. This powerfully orienting work, a veritable guide for the perplexed in a time of theoretical self-questioning, is also a heartening sign of the excitement and vitality of psychoanalysis in a time of change.
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(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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