Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To search only within a publication time period…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Looking for articles in a specific time period? You can refine your search by using the Year feature in the Search Section. This tool could be useful for studying the impact of historical events on psychoanalytic theories.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Meissner, W.W. (1998). God on the Couch: A Review of Soul on the Couch: Spirituality, Religion, and Morality in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, edited by Charles Spezzano and Gerald J. Gargiulo. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997. xiv + 241 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 34(3):462-465.

(1998). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 34(3):462-465

God on the Couch: A Review of Soul on the Couch: Spirituality, Religion, and Morality in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, edited by Charles Spezzano and Gerald J. Gargiulo. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997. xiv + 241 pp.

Review by:
W. W. Meissner, S.J.

I always find books of this kind difficult to review, because they contain much with which I am in sympathy or agreement and much that jars my sensibilities and outlook. This volume offers us a spate of quite disparate essays on aspects of religious, moral, and spiritual experience. I found the title somewhat misleading. The theoretical orientation throughout is self-psychological and pervasively relational, so that the field designated as “contemporary psychoanalysis” is restricted to self psychology and related attempts to translate the whole of the analytic canon into relational terms. Analysts of other persuasions might find themselves adrift in this redefinition of psychoanalysis.

Gargiulo opens with a salvo against the concept of the autonomous self, particularly aiming at its classic elevation at the hands of ego psychology into a therapeutic ideal. Here Ferenczi, whose understanding of relational need and interdependence is preferred to the misguided Freudian metapsychology of independent and isolated autonomous splendor, comes into his own. On these terms, the self, the traditional “I,” is found to be no more than an illusion. Not much of an analytically conceived inner life escapes whipping; even the unconscious is denied existence, because it is created and revealed in and through interpretation.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.