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Richards, A.M. (1992). Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach: By Robert D. Stolorow and Bernard Brandchaft. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1987, x + 188 pp., $24.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:256-260.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:256-260

Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach: By Robert D. Stolorow and Bernard Brandchaft. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1987, x + 188 pp., $24.95. Related Papers

Review by:
Arnold M. Richards, M.D.

This is the fourth collaborative volume by Stolorow and his colleagues. With Atwood, he has coauthored Faces in a Cloud: Subjectivity in Personality Theory(Stolorow and Atwood, 1979) and Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology(Stolorow and Atwood, 1984). A third volume, Psychoanalysis of Developmental Arrests: Theory and Treatment(Stolorow and Lachman, 1980), was written with Lachman, who has also coauthored the chapter on transference in the present work. Brandchaft, coauthor of the other chapters, has collaborated with Stolorow on a paper on borderline concepts (Brandchaft and Stolorow, 1984) and has on his own contributed a number of articles to the self psychology literature.

Psychoanalytic Treatment sets for itself the most ambitious of goals: to "formulate the basic theoretical constructs for a psychoanalytic science of human experience" (p. 132). To this end, the authors offer "two fundamental ideas" as "central guiding principles": (1) the concept of an intersubjective field, by which they mean to denote the idea of a "system of differently organized, interacting subjective worlds [as] invaluable for comprehending both the vicissitudes of psychoanalytic therapy and the process of human psychological development" (p. ix); and (2) the concept of concretization, defined as "the encapsulation of organizations of experience by concrete, sensorimotor symbols" (p. 132).

Although the authors observe that their notion of psychoanalysis as a science of the intersubjective evolved over 15 years of collaborative work, they did not introduce the term "intersubjective" until 1984, in Structures of Subjectivity. Prior to that, they were more closely aligned with Heinz Kohut's self psychology, as augmented by their own emphasis on the representational world.

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