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Turno, M. (2016). Costruire l'adolescenza: Tra immedesimazione e bisogni [Constructing Adolescence: between Empathy and Needs] by Pietro R. Goisis Mimesis, Milan 2014; 305 pp; €24.00. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(5):1466-1467.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(5):1466-1467

Costruire l'adolescenza: Tra immedesimazione e bisogni [Constructing Adolescence: between Empathy and Needs] by Pietro R. Goisis Mimesis, Milan 2014; 305 pp; €24.00

Review by:
Marcello Turno

From the beginning of his career, Pietro Roberto Goisis, an analyst with the Italian Institute of Psychoanalysis, has been engaged in a deep study of the world of the young, and in this carefully produced book we come upon a sentence which invites us to pause and reflect: “recognising the needs of our interlocutors does not mean putting ourselves in the position of satisfying them immediately and unreservedly” (p. 79). This is an assertion which appeals to an intellectual honesty which should be the common heritage of all those who are concerned with that sophisticated and difficult art, learned on the job, called psychoanalysis: or rather, the science of the art of psychotherapy, as Vittorio Lingiardi says in his afterword, even though most people still call it a profession. There is a great difference between practising a profession and dedicating oneself to an art. The first is a social necessity; the second is an intimate passion, a constant urge to think about oneself and the other, and the relationship that is played out between self and other. It requires continual study, work, engagement with others who study it, and above all empathy.

Why would I want to make such an assertion my starting point? Because this intense book does not only have clinical and theoretical value, but can be considered as a sort of essay about training where the acknowledgement of those teachers who have taught the author the art of psychoanalysis with adolescents is never tacit, but constantly overt.

[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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