Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: A Model for Theory and Practice
Lewis Kirshner’s recent study Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: A Model for Theory and Practice presents a highly readable and long-needed synoptic account of the diverse meanings and conceptualizations of intersubjectivity informing current psychoanalytic practice. Kirshner notes that the term ‘intersubjectivity’ was not commonly invoked in psychoanalytic theorizing before 1980, yet from the 1980’s onwards its use has increased dramatically. The concept of intersubjectivity within psychoanalysis is most closely associated with the interpersonal turn that has roots in Sandor Ferenzci’s early critique of the analyst playing a neutral or objective role in interpreting the unconscious meaning of symptoms and Harry Stack Sullivan’s critique of Freud’s concept of anxiety as predominantly a signal anxiety to the ego indicating the imminent emergence of hitherto repressed ideas into conscious awareness.
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