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Narva, A. (2017). Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis, by S. Montana Katz (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series, Vol. 41), New York, NY: Routledge, 2013, 244 pp., $46.95 (paper-bound).. Psychoanal. Psychol., 34(1):140-142.
(2017). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(1):140-142
Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis, by S. Montana Katz (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series, Vol. 41), New York, NY: Routledge, 2013, 244 pp., $46.95 (paper-bound).
Review by: Adam Narva, Ph.D.
Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis is partly a guide to, and partly an expansion of, ideas about psychoanalytic “field” theory. It expands these ideas by joining them with ideas about the significance of metaphor in our thinking and our clinical practice. It largely reprints two issues of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, originally published in 2011 and 2013, with some additional editorial material.
The book's principal motivation, in a sense, is to unite psychoanalysts under a set of what its editor, Montana Katz, calls “umbrella” concepts. She wants to make psychoanalysis more discernible as an integrated profession, as well as more conversant with other disciplines, and wants to widen some of our psychoanalytic ideas to accomplish these goals. The book takes the concept of the analytic “field” and opens it widely, to serve as a large umbrella.
First, some historical context.
Psychoanalysis has been blessed, and plagued, with invisible things from its beginning. First and foremost was the thing called the Unconscious. Along with that came the Preconscious, then various “drives,” then Id, Ego, and Superego; later came “internal objects,” “transitional objects,” “self-objects,” true and false selves, containers, and analytic “thirds,” just to name a few! And not to mention processes or phenomena that are radically different from visible human processes like walking or talking—think of “projection” and “projective identification,” for example.
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