Michael Parsons

Living Psychoanalysis

From Theory to Experience

Living Psychoanalysis : From Theory to Experience represents a decade of work from one of today’s leading psychoanalysts. Michael Parsons brings to life clinical psychoanalysis and its theoretical foundations, offering new developments in analytic theory and vivid examples of work in the consulting room. The book also explores connections between psychoanalysis, art and literature, showing how psychoanalytic insights can enrich our lives far beyond the clinical situation.

Living Psychoanalysis comprises four main sections :

Life and Death – asks what it means to be fully and creatively alive, and introduces the concept of avant-coup.

Sexuality, Narcissism and the Oedipus complex – develops fresh ways of understanding these key concepts.

How analysts listen – explores links between psychoanalytic listening and the way artists look at the world, and introduces the concept of the internal analytic setting.

The Independent tradition in British psychoanalysis – considers the theoretical foundations of Independent clinical technique, and discusses from various perspectives the role of training in developing the identity of analysts and analytic therapists.

With fresh theoretical concepts and a focus on specific aspects of clinical practice, Living Psychoanalysis : From Theory to Experience will be a valuable resource for analysts, therapists and professionals who wish to extend their vision of psychoanalysis. It will also be of great interest to general readers concerned to deepen their understanding of the links between culture and the mind.

Collection The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, London.
Publication : 21 mai 2014

The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes

Paradox and Creativity in Psychoanalysis

The nature of psychoanalysis seems contradictory – deeply personal, subjective and intuitive, yet requiring systematic theory and principles of technique.

In The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes, Michael Parsons explores the tension of this paradox. As they respond to it and struggle to sustain creatively, analysts discover their individual identities. The work of outstanding clinicians such as Marion Milner and John Klauber is examined in detail. The reader also encounters oriental martial arts, greek Tragedy, the landscape painting of John Constable, a Winnicottian theory of creativity and a discussion of the significance of play in psychoanalysis. From such varied topics evolves a deepening apprehension of the nature of the clinical experience.

Illustrated throughout , The Dove that Returns, The Dove that Vanishes will prove valuable to those in the field of psychoanalysis, and to those in the arts and humanities who are interested in contemporary psychoanalytic thinking.

Collection The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, London.
Publication : 10 août 2000

Before I was I

Psychoanalysis and the imagination

For Enid Balint, the practice of analysis can be compared with the process of learning a language. « The analyst who can do this, » she says, « will continue to learn with every patient who comes to him throughout his professional life. » Enid Balint has been a training analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society since the 1960s. She founded the Institute of Marital Studies at the Tavistock Clinic in London, and with her husband, Michael Balint, developed the training method for doctors known as the « Balint group. »
She is a highly original and creative psychoanalyst whose work is related to that of Sandor Ferenczi, Michael Balint, John Rickman, Wilfred Bion, and Donald Winnicott. This important new book traces the evolution of her professional identity and gives the reader a wealth of insight into both the theory and technique of psychoanalysis. Balint shows a primary concern with the nature of analytic listening. She focuses on the understanding of pre-verbal and bodily processes, and the interface of the pre-verbal and verbal. Her central concept is that of « imaginative perception, » without which, she claims, the world around us cannot be seen and felt as alive. She also elucidates a special type of « open communication » for analytic listening, and shows how technique can be a way of continual learning rather than acquiring specific skills and mechanisms. She emphasizes participant observation and the crucial importance of mutual concern.
Numerous case studies bring her ideas to life and demonstrate the subtlety and flexibility with which she uses herself, and lets herself be made use of, as a psychoanalyst. In the final chapter of the book – a verbatim account of an interview with Juliet Mitchell – Balint describes how she learns from her own patients and shows how the analyst can work in various settings without losing touch with psychoanalytic method and theory. She also lets us see how many questions she still finds unanswered.

by Enid Balint, edited by Juliet Mitchell and Michael Parsons.
Free Association Books, 1er janvier 1995.
Réédition : 1er novembre 1998

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