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Looking for Ground

Book Description

Despite a half-century of literature documenting the experience and meanings of countertransference in analytic practice, the concept remains a source of controversy. For Peter Carnochan, this can be addressed only by revisiting historical, epistemological, and moral issues intrinsic to the analytic enterprise. Looking for Ground is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive understanding of countertransference on the basis of a contemporary reappraisal of just such foundational assumptions.
     
Carnochan begins by reviewing the history of the psychoanalytic encounter and how it has been accompanied by changes in the understanding of countertransference. He skillfully delineates the complexities that underlie Freud's apparent proscription of countertransference before tracing the broadening of the concept in the hands of later theorists. Part II examines the problem of epistemology in contemporary analytic practice.  The answer to this apparent quandary, he holds, resides in a contemporary appreciation of affect, which, rather than merely limiting or skewing perception, forms an essential "promontory" for human knowing. The final section of Looking for Ground takes up what Carnochan terms the "moral architecture" of psychoanalysis. Rejecting the claim that analysis operates in a realm outside conventional accounts of value, he argues that the analytic alternative to traditional moralism is not tantamount to emancipation from the problem of morality. 
     
With wide-ranging scholarship and graceful writing, Carnochan refracts the major theoretical and clinical issues at stake in contemporary psychoanalytic debates through the lens of countertransference - its history, its evolution, its philosophical ground, its moral dimensions.  He shows how the examination of countertransference provides a unique and compelling window through which to apprehend and reappraise those basic claims at the heart of the psychoanalytic endeavor.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Preface
  8. Chapter One: Atlas’s Perch
    1. Authenticity as Accident: The Quandary of Skillful Affectivity
    2. Countertransference and the History of Psychoanalytic Technique
    3. Accounts of Inquiry: Epistemology and the Countertransference
    4. The Evolution of Morality
    5. The Nature of Therapeutic Action
  9. Chapter Two: Freud and the Advent of Psychoanalysis
    1. Prohibition of the Countertransference
    2. Epistemological Foundation
    3. Culture and Mental Illness
    4. Freud’s Early Practice
    5. Freud’s Early Theory
  10. Chapter Three: Freud: Gratification, Virtue, and the Therapeutic Process
    1. Gratification, Motivation, and Making the Patient Work
    2. Gratification and Sexual Noxae
    3. Gratification and the Development of Freud’s Technique
  11. Chapter Four: Freud: Reality Testing and the Pleasure Principle
    1. Freud and the Search for the Real
    2. Reality Testing and Perception
    3. Affect and Reality Testing
    4. Objective Thought and the Location of the Real
    5. Health and the Connection to Reality
    6. Restoring the Real: The Analytic Attitude and the Analysand’s Connection to the Real
    7. The Analyst’s Epistemological Process
    8. The Therapeutic Environment, Gratification, and Reality
    9. Countertransference and Analytic Objectivity
  12. Chapter Five: The Evolution of Psychoanalytic Technique After Freud
    1. Freud’s Unfinished Legacy (1915–1939)
    2. The Impact of Applied Technique (1919–1926)
    3. Ferenczi’s Humanistic Experiment (1919–1932)
    4. Claims for Neutrality, the Lure of Activity (1925–1933)
    5. The Resurrection of Neutrality (1936–1953)
  13. Chapter Six: The Move to Modernity
    1. The Changing Patient Population (1890–1975)
    2. Ego Psychology, Object Relations Theory, and Interpersonal Psychoanalysis (1925–1960)
    3. Motivation, Drives, and Relationship
    4. Trauma and Choice
    5. Reality and Creativity
    6. Complications and Overlapping Ideas
    7. Health as a Skill (1919–1960)
    8. Therapeutic Action (1950–1999)
    9. The Reemergence of the Countertransference (1942–1960)
    10. The Rehabilitation of the Countertransference (1947–1999)
  14. Chapter Seven: Knowing and Analysis
    1. The Death of Objectivism
    2. The Untenability of Objectivism
    3. The Shape of Knowing
    4. Affect and Knowing
    5. The Skill Theory of Affect
    6. Validation and Objectivity
  15. Chapter Eight: Verification and Disclosure
    1. Countertransference and Epistemology
    2. The Use of the Countertransference
    3. The Role of Disclosure
    4. Knowing and Maturity
  16. Chapter Nine: Stillness and Provision Theories of Virtue in Psychoanalytic Practice
    1. The Moral Evolution of Psychoanalysis
    2. Foundations for Virtue
    3. Drive and the Limits of Transcendent Accounts of Virtue
    4. Schafer’s Attempt to Rehabilitate Drive Theory
    5. Natural Virtue and the Faith in Innocence
  17. Chapter Ten: Constructed Virtue: The Architecture of Psychoanalytic Morality
    1. The Activity of Health, the Structure of Suffering
    2. Paradox and Compassionate Vision
    3. Transference Reconsidered
    4. The Actions of Psychoanalytic Technique
    5. The Activity of Abstinence: Securing the Therapeutic Frame
    6. The Necessity of Gratification
    7. A Final Perspective on Countertransference
  18. References
  19. Index