Self Creation: Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Art of the Possible

Self Creation: Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Art of the Possible

By: Frank Summers (author)Paperback

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"Insight" and "Change." The problematic relationship between these two concepts, to which the reality of psychoanalytic patients who fully understand maladaptive patterns without being able to change them attests, has dogged psychoanalysis for a century. Building on the integrative object relations model set forth in Transcending the Self (1999), Frank Summers turns to Winnicott's notion of "potential space" in order to elaborate a fresh clinical approach for transforming insight into new ways of being and relating. For Summers, understanding occurs within transference space, but the latter must be translated into potential space if insight is to give rise to change in the world outside the consulting room. Within potential space, Summers holds, the analyst's task shifts from understanding the present to aiding and abetting the patient in creating a new future. This means that the analyst must draw on her hard-won understanding of the patient to construct a vision of who the patient can become. Lasting therapeutic change grows out of the analyst's and patient's collaboration in developing new possibilities of being that draw on the patient's affective predispositions and buried aspects of self. In the second half of the book, Summers applies this model of therapeutic action to common clinical syndromes revolving around depression, narcissistic injuries, somatic symptoms, and internalized bad objects. Here we find vivid documentation of specific clinical strategies in which the therapeutic use of potential space gives rise to new ways of being and relating which, in turn, anchor the creation of a new sense of self.

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About Author

Frank Summers, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, is a training and supervising analyst at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School. A member of the faculties of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Institute, and the Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Institute, Dr. Summers maintains a private practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy in Chicago, IL.


I. A Psychoanalytic Theory of Self Creation 1. Potential Space in Psychoanalytic Therapy 2. The Future as Intrinsic to the Psychoanalytic Process 3. The Therapist's Vision of the Patient 4. Therapeutic Action as the Creation of Meaning 5. Psychoanalytic Therapy as the Art of Possibilities 6. The Analyst's Process: The Mind of the Other II. Clinical Applications 7. The Disowned Body 8. Depression: The Collapsed Self 9. Relinquishing Bad Objects 10. Healing Narcissistic Wounds 11. Conclusion

Product Details

  • publication date: 07/04/2005
  • ISBN13: 9780881633962
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 300
  • ID: 9780881633962
  • weight: 408
  • ISBN10: 0881633968

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