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Roth, S. (1994). Cultivating Intuition: By Peter Lomas. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1993, 232 pp., $25.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:1299-1300.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:1299-1300

Cultivating Intuition: By Peter Lomas. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1993, 232 pp., $25.00.

Review by:
Sheldon Roth, M.D.

Cultivating Intuition is a candid glimpse into the mind and heart of a dedicated psychoanalyst struggling to separate the wheat of analytic psychotherapy from its chaff. Lomas's chatty, epigrammatic discussions weave back and forth between past and current psychoanalytic challenges, giving his philosophy a postmodern flavor of cut, patch, and paste whose text is loose, yet coherent. Some chapter headings are "The Attributes of the psychotherapist," "The Moral Stance of Psychotherapy," "The Analytic Attitude," "Formulations of Anguish," "Seduction," "Is Psychotherapy Real?" and "Ordinariness." The digressive prose mirrors the fluid openness of Lomas's therapeutic stance: "I find myself in sympathy with Ferenczi and those who emphasize the healing power of the relationship per se … what is most conducive to growth is the way in which the therapist relates to her [his] patient" (p. 110). After Freud, Winnicott has had the most profound impact on Lomas.

Lomas is highly critical of abstinence and frustration as therapeutic ploys, and believes that no interpretations take place in a disciplined, orderly way. Indeed, the adherence to teaching these techniques contributes toward years of frustration for neophyte analysts as they discover the limitations of neutrality: "It is dangerous to encourage a beginner to practice a method in which one does not really believe oneself" (p. 59). Neutrality is impossible, Lomas feels, because one's "morality" (i.e., philosophical and political views) has a direct bearing on one's therapeutic stance.

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