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Reality matters: The shadow of trauma on African American subjectivity.

This article examines the effect of African American historical reality on subjectivity. In particular, transmission of slavery’s essential characteristic—a relationship of domination—is explored. A clinical case manifesting instances of these issues is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: Psychoanalytic Psychology)

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Review of Awakening the dreamer: Clinical journeys.

Reviews the book, Awakening the dreamer: Clinical journeys by Philip M. Bromberg (see record 2006-08993-000). Engaging with the many dimensions of Bromberg’s absorbing writing opens the reader/clinician, of whatever theoretical persuasion, to other self states and new and “other” thoughts about the psychoanalytic process. Bromberg approaches psychoanalytic work in a deeply personal manner that enables him to articulate the reasons why it is not only acceptable but also entirely necessary for the analyst to engage personally with the patient. He also creates a personally impactful psychoanalytic reading experience for his readers. The engagement of reader and author also captures one of the major themes in Bromberg’s contribution: that healthy psychological functioning involves the …

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Siblings, transference, and the lateral dimension of psychic life.

The author considers developmental and transferential implications of the lateral dimension of psychic life, which entails the challenge to forge a unique and valued identity in a world of one’s equals, beginning with siblings. The lateral dimension intersects with the vertical dimension of hierarchical relationships, notably those between child and parent. Consideration of the lateral dimension and its particular developmental challenge promises to expand our understanding of the processes of identity development and of transferences involving both siblings and parents. Moreover, conceiving of psychic life as comprising two dimensions may help to contextualize existing psychoanalytic understanding of sibling-related processes in light of fundamental tenets of psychoanalytic theory. A de…

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Born in exile: There is no place like home.

This is a discussion of Henry M. Seiden’s (see record 2009-04869-006) article, “On the Longing for Home,” in Psychoanalytic Psychology. The author presents the view that Seiden’s main points, namely, that the idea of home is an important one for psychoanalytic theory and that it has been underrepresented in the literature, are correct. Home as the enclosure of primary object relations and the psychoanalytic significance of the enclosure per se are discussed. The author then raises questions about the ontological status of home and of ideas about origin in general. The question is posed regarding the extent to which they should be viewed as records of real experience as opposed to fictive constructions influenced by unconscious elaborations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, a…

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The analytic environment in times of bodily dysfunction: The effect of psychoanalytic psychosomatic theories.

This article examines the analytic environment in which psychoanalytic work occurs when patients struggle with complex somatic experiences, such as disease or physiological dysfunction. Patients express fantasies and beliefs about the etiology of their somatic experiences; they elaborate theories about why infertility, irritable bowel disease, or some other disease, syndrome, or crisis is happening to them. I consider these to be patients’ multiply determined, fantasy-saturated psychosomatic theories, and suggest that the analyst’s understanding of patients’ ideas about their somatic experiences is organized by the analyst’s both articulated and not articulated psychosomatic theories. Using brief clinical vignettes, I highlight the potentially constricting effect of clinicians’ t…

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