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Karlsson, G. (2002). Metaphor and the Psychodynamic Functions of the Mind. Henrik Enckell. Kuopio: Kuopio University Publications D. Medical Sciences, 265. Doctoral dissertation, 2002.. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 25(2):167-171.

(2002). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 25(2):167-171

Metaphor and the Psychodynamic Functions of the Mind. Henrik Enckell. Kuopio: Kuopio University Publications D. Medical Sciences, 265. Doctoral dissertation, 2002.

Review by:
Gunnar Karlsson

It is a pleasure to review a psychoanalytic theoretical dissertation published in an academic setting in Scandinavia. Henrik Enckell, for the readers of this journal known as its editor in chief, has carried out an impressive work, entitled Metaphor and the Psychodynamic Functions of the Mind. The dissertation consists of an introductory part as well as the four papers (Enckell, 2001a, b, 1999; Enckell & Campbell, unpublished)

The dissertation is an interesting and original contribution to difficult and important issues in psychoanalytic theory. Enckell examines in a systematic way the psychoanalytic theoretical issues through the perspective of the theory of metaphor. The use of metaphors, deriving from the science of linguistics, has today been widened into many scientific fields, and one can also see the use of metaphors and metaphorical thinking within psychoanalysis. The theory of metaphor is the key notion through which psychoanalysis is considered in Enckell's work. The meaning of the term “metaphor” is, briefly, that an unconventional combination of words enables a new hitherto unseen meaning to arise.

In his introduction, Enckell organizes the use of metaphors in psychoanalysis around four themes. The first theme presented is called “concretized metaphors”, whose meaning is rather the opposite of a metaphoric expression, signifying a desymbolized, concrete way of thinking. In a psychoanalytic/psychotherapeutic process, a concrete metaphor may be transformed to a genuine symbolizing metaphor.

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