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Reno, R. (2018). Reviews of Psychoanalytic Collisions and Holding and Psychoanalysis: A Relational Perspective by Joyce Slochower. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 13(2):193-202.

(2018). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 13(2):193-202

Reviews of Psychoanalytic Collisions and Holding and Psychoanalysis: A Relational Perspective by Joyce Slochower

Rochelle Reno, Ph.D., Psy.D.

From the first paragraphs of her introduction to Psychoanalytic Collisions (Slochower, 2014b), I immediately discerned that this was going to be a book about the analyst’s subjectivity. The notion of subjectivity, of course, is central to contemporary psychoanalysts, with our subjectivity as analysts seen as crucial to the process of illuminating the subjectivity of our patients. But Slochower’s project reverses this emphasis: She puts the analyst’s subjectivity up front and center by exhaustively examining forces intrinsic to our “impossible profession” (Freud, 1937, p. 248) that create a stream of subjective conflicts with which we must unceasingly grapple in both our consulting rooms and our extended professional lives. Slochower terms these conflicts psychoanalytic collisions. Each chapter of her book is devoted to a different form of collision. Part I discusses collisions that are fomented by clashes between the analyst’s professional ideal and the actuality of his/her role as these play out in the consulting room (Chapter 1), in theory choice (Chapter 2), in analytic writing (Chapter 3), and in practicing ethically (Chapter 4). The five chapters of Part II address forms of subjective collision that are precipitated by clinical situations: the intrusion of real life events (Chapter 5), mismatches between analyst’s and patient’s feelings toward each other (Chapter 6), unsuccessful attempts to work relationally (Chapter 7), patient and analyst idealizations (Chapters 8 and 9), and the mature analyst’s struggle to find a working idiom (Chapter 10).

[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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