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Platt, C.M. (2015). The Possible Profession: The Analytic Process of Change, by Theodore J. Jacobs, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, 2013, 326pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(3):343-345.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(3):343-345

The Possible Profession: The Analytic Process of Change, by Theodore J. Jacobs, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, 2013, 326pp.

Review by:
Christie M. Platt, Ph.D.

“You Are There” was a popular television show in the 1950's that allowed the viewer to go back in time and imagine what it would have been like to be present at an earlier seminal moment in history. There was a contemporary guide who accompanied you on this time travel. Ted Jacobs is just such a guide for us into the history of ideas and people who have shaped psychoanalytic theory in the United States. Jacobs' own ideas marinated in the milieu of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute where he has been active since he joined in 1967. Many of the most prominent immigrant European psychoanalysts found a home there, such as Kris, Lowenstein, Hartmann, Jacobson, and Eissler, all of whom inspired his desire to deepen his knowledge of psychoanalysis as they simultaneously demonstrated how their knowledge of literature, history, and the arts enriched their wisdom. While he admired their brilliance, Jacobs also chafed at their rigid adherence to ego psychological orthodoxy.

Throughout his career, Jacobs has been grappling with pivotal developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice and has made his own significant contributions. While Jacobs considers himself part of the ego psychological tradition, he is not a polemicist; rather he makes the case for clinicians having as many modes of listening to their patients and themselves as possible.

[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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