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Beyda, A. (2008). The Dove and the Consulting Room: Hysteria and the Anima in Bollas and Jung by Greg Mogenson New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2003; 229 pp.. Fort Da, 14(2):131-135.

(2008). Fort Da, 14(2):131-135

The Dove and the Consulting Room: Hysteria and the Anima in Bollas and Jung by Greg Mogenson New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2003; 229 pp.

Reviewed by
Adam Beyda, Psy.D.

Since 1912 or so, a credibility gap has attended C.G. Jung and his work (Samuels, 1985). Mostly due to problems of accessibility, Greg Mogenson's The Dove and the Consulting Room: Hysteria and the Anima in Bollas and Jung will likely do little to change that. Organized around his response to Christopher Bollas's (2000) book, Hysteria, Mogenson offers not a comparative study, but rather a compelling and unwieldy musing on limitations of psychoanalytic conceptions of mind that, he feels, are addressed by a Jungian perspective. By way of this project, Mogenson seeks to evoke the aspects of hysteria — both form and function — that Bollas's lens misses. He advances an imaginative and very abstruse thesis: hysteria, as seen from a broader, archetypal perspective, can be understood as a harbinger of radical otherness that functions as muse and co-creator — as the anima — of psychoanalysis.

Mogenson seems to have been stimulated (and provoked) by Bollas's book in part because of the importance of its subject matter to the history of psychoanalysis. He also seems to regard Bollas as a would-be Jungian fellow traveler who with Hysteria falls into a reductionist view that, in essence, reifies hysteria, repeating a logical fallacy that dates to the early years of psychoanalysis.

Historically, Mogenson suggests, depth psychology began with the discovery that many of hysteria's physical symptoms had no basis in the pathology of the actual physiological systems involved. This discovery created a moment of deliteralization, Mogenson writes, when “positive physiological explanations give way to negative, psychological ones” (p. 14). This usage of “positive” and “negative” pertains to the Hegelian dialectics native to the archetypalist school of Jungians (especially German Jungian Wolfgang Giegerich).

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