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Cancelmo, J.A. (2013). The Second Century of Psychoanalysis: Evolving Perspectives on Therapeutic Action, edited by Michael J. Diamond and Christopher Christian (CIPS Series on the Boundaries of Psychoanalysis), London, Karnac Books, 2011, 362 pp., $28.99. Psychoanal. Psychol., 30(2):344-349.
(2013). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 30(2):344-349
The Second Century of Psychoanalysis: Evolving Perspectives on Therapeutic Action, edited by Michael J. Diamond and Christopher Christian (CIPS Series on the Boundaries of Psychoanalysis), London, Karnac Books, 2011, 362 pp., $28.99
Review by: Joseph A. Cancelmo, PsyD, FIPA
In this fourth offering in the CIPS (Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies) series, “The Boundaries of Psychoanalysis,” coeditors and contributors Michael J. Diamond and Christopher Christian have crafted a veritable psychoanalytic textbook that traverses the history, evolutionary shifts, and new developments in our field from its inception, our common Freudian roots. The book cover communicates this concretely, yet symbolically: In the foreground is a place to recline. Not quite a “classical” couch, but couch-like. Rather like a chair, but quite good enough for the recumbent position. Freud's photo, in the background, suggests the enduring presence of an essential psychoanalytic core. But is this the patient's spot? The analyst's? Somehow both? This decidedly modern, yet paradoxically old, chaise lounge, a LeCorbusier design, circa 1928, reminds us that what is old can be quite modern. Indeed, this volume (and the entire CIPS Series, to date), brings home the point that our analytic past is very much alive in and relevant to our theoretical and clinical present.
This edited collection delivers a cogent and most reassuring perspective on psychoanalysis as a therapeutic agent of change. Although the contributors come from a single West Coast institute (the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies), the perspectives offered are at once unique and also encompassing of our most central analytic theories. Although not intended to be a comprehensive review (although the title might be somewhat misleading in this regard), the contemporary landscape of American psychoanalysis feels well traveled by the end of the book. Controversies, polemics, and fierce attachments to various theories, to tensions and splits in various schools of thought and institutions are not highlighted here; the focus is more our shared psychoanalytic heritage. Beginning with in-depth historical considerations, each new chapter revisits aspects of the history and trajectory of psychoanalytic theory and practice in a manner that sheds new light. And it is to each contributor's, and to the editors', credit that the book does not feel repetitive.
Diamond and Christian begin with the historical context of our work, rooted in Freud, and deepened via subsequent dissatisfaction with our theories.
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