Tip: To see papers related to the one you are viewing…
PEP-Web Tip of the Day
When there are articles or videos related to the one you are viewing, you will see a related papers icon next to the title, like this: For example:
Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are related (including the current one). Related papers may be papers which are commentaries, responses to commentaries, erratum, and videos discussing the paper. Since they are not part of the original source material, they are added by PEP editorial staff, and may not be marked as such in every possible case.
For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.
Diamond, N. (2015). The Couch in the Market Place: Psychoanalysis and Social Reality by H. Shmuel Erlich. Published by Karnac Books, London, 2013; 200 pp; £22.99 paperback, £16.09 e book. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(1):136-139.
(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(1):136-139
The Couch in the Market Place: Psychoanalysis and Social Reality by H. Shmuel Erlich. Published by Karnac Books, London, 2013; 200 pp; £22.99 paperback, £16.09 e book
Review by: Nicola Diamond
This book is about the way psychoanalysis and its understanding of psychic life is distinctive but inseparable from the interpersonal and social sphere. Not only is the relationship between the social world and psychic life an important area to conceptualize and explore, but the existence of this interrelationship can draw attention to the limited horizons propagated by forms of psychoanalytic thinking.
Shmuel Erlich's book is a contribution towards expansion in frame, so that psychoanalysis as a discipline can be freer to engage in relational social fields of thought, take on more social political and worldly concerns as its focus, and challenge restrictions as to its considered areas of interest and relevance.
As the book proceeds, it becomes increasingly apparent that there is a fascination with thinking and living on the border zone, which encompasses consideration of psychoanalysis as a frontier discipline, its interface with other disciplines, and with understanding ‘the other side’, the ‘enemy’ or the mind of the ‘terrorist’. As destructiveness becomes the focus, it dawns on the reader that the book is concerned with a border straddled across a potential war zone. This is no surprise since Shmuel Erlich is a practising Jewish psychoanalyst living on the border of Israel and Arab states.
The book is a compilation of different papers which makes for a varied read, but there is a continuity of themes throughout. Shmuel Erlich is open to social forms of explanation, showing how cultural beliefs can shape thought and action, whilst also retaining a specificity to his psychoanalytic stance.
[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]