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White, P. (2007). Having a Life: Self Pathology after Lacan Lewis A. Kirshner Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 2004, 157 pp. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 15(2):359-362.

(2007). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 15(2):359-362

Having a Life: Self Pathology after Lacan Lewis A. Kirshner Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 2004, 157 pp

Review by:
Patricia White

In this remarkable short volume Kirshner has accomplished a much-needed task. He has brought to North American psychoanalysts rich contributions from French culture, specifically those of Lacan. He has done this by addressing a topic that has been at the centre of psychoanalytic theorizing and therapeutic attention for several decades: the origins of the self/subject and the maintenance of a sense of aliveness, engagement, and distinctive-ness in the world against the many forces that fragment, negate, and depersonalize. His title Having a Life captures the personal/clinical position that Kirshner himself adopts by presenting relevant case material based on that of his supervisees and of his own patients. Alongside the clinical material, the differentiated theoretical contributions of Lacan, Winnicott, and Kohut are discussed, with Green's and Modell's bridging comments woven through like silver threads in a variegated tapestry.

A word about the author. Kirshner is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a training and supervising analyst

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