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Fogel, G.I. (2009). Rediscovering Psychoanalysis: Thinking and Dreaming, Learning and Forgetting by Thomas H. Ogden Routledge, London, 2009; 168 pp; £22.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(6):1471-1476.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(6):1471-1476

Rediscovering Psychoanalysis: Thinking and Dreaming, Learning and Forgetting by Thomas H. Ogden Routledge, London, 2009; 168 pp; £22.99

Review by:
Gerald I. Fogel

This thought-provoking new work by Thomas Ogden is structured throughout by two themes. One is rediscovering psychoanalysis - the book's title. Ogden believes that rediscovering psychoanalysis is what we do during our most meaningful and alive psychoanalytic learning. The emphasis is on the creative, continually evolving, and recursive aspects of this experiential learning process. It takes place in analytic treatment, of course, but also when we supervise, teach, read, and write. In separate chapters, the author describes the essentials of the psychoanalytic learning process in relation to these various activities. The second significant theme is dreaming, which Ogden defines as a special type of psychological work.

Dreaming is the essential psychic activity that drives the rediscovery process. Readers familiar with the author's previous work understand that Ogden refers not to the literal process of dreaming as defined by common sense or traditional psychoanalytic theory. Dreaming, or what the author more commonly refers to as dreaming up, is psychological work with live emotional experience. He expands upon this simple definition from different angles throughout the book, often stressing that such psychological work involves the creation of personal symbolic meaning. It may be unconscious, preconscious (as in the patient's free association and the analyst's reverie) or conscious. Usually it combines all three, in pursuit of the goals of increasing psychic freedom and deepening experiential understanding through access to previously absent or warded off unconscious process.

[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.]

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