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Rosenbaum, P.J. (2013). Returning to Modernity?: A review of Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis by Jon Mills, Psy.D., Ph.D., A.B.P.P. New York: Routledge, 2012, 260 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 49(1):113-124.

(2013). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49(1):113-124

Book Reviews

Returning to Modernity?: A review of Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis by Jon Mills, Psy.D., Ph.D., A.B.P.P. New York: Routledge, 2012, 260 pp.

Review by:
Philip J. Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

Introduction

As both a practicing psychoanalyst as well as an academically trained philosopher, Jon Mills offers a unique perspective on the current state of contemporary psychoanalysis. In Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Mills's analysis takes two distinct forms. In his opening chapters, Mills directly challenges many of the implicit philosophical underpinnings of Relational psychoanalysis. Subsequent chapters principally deal with the political and personal issues he has experienced when presenting these critiques in professional settings. These two styles of analysis are very different and necessitate a caveat before moving forward. Because I lack personal experience and direct knowledge of the delicate incidents he describes, especially in chapters 4-6, I choose to not engage with them. Instead, my goals in this review are to faithfully present the complex critiques of Relational psychoanalysis and then offer my thoughts on them in the discussion section.

A Critique in Three Parts

The Forest and the Trees

Mills groups together a number of significantly different psychoanalytic approaches under the single heading of relational. This temporary and fragile organization allows him to elaborate upon what he finds to be the commonalities among these fields. Mills is aware of how this obscures

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