Psychoanalytic theory frequently explains psychopathology from the perspective of either inadequate early care or as the result of environmental factors. In this book the author suggests that poor mental health can be a result of our incapacity to respond to internal and external stimuli, and indicates that spontaneity is essential in the development of many aspects of the self.
It is not what happens to us, but how we react to events, that forms who we are. Spontaneity presents an original approach to issues of agency, spontaneity and creativity in psychoanalysis by exploring questions including:
This book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, philosophers and psychologists. It will also prove to be engaging for those interested in psychoanalytic theory and theories of subjectivity.
'Rarely does a book tackle essential problems in such a fascinating and convincing way. It deals with that very special human quality-spontaneity-which ultimately sustains all creative processes. It also explores the defensive manoeuvres that oppose spontaneity. This lucid and incisive book can be utilized at different levels of complexity. Not only are the contents of the book enriching, but its passion for the frontiers of research will enhance the creativity of readers.' Antonino Ferro, Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Pavia, Italy.
'Professor Corradi Fiumara seeks to lift psychoanalytic thinking from the creature-drive level of psychic determinism to the higher level of spontaneity, unpredictability, humanness –as metapsychological constructs. I found this to be an exciting and innovative work.' James Grotstein, author of A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy To Psychoanalysis.
'I strongly recommend this stimulating book which deals with areas mainly neglected so far. I am sure that it will bring moments of joy and new insights to its readers.' Claudio Eizirik, President, International Psychoanalytic Association.
'Whether on philosophy, psychoanalysis, or just the process of living, whatever Gemma Corradi Fiumara writes is fresh and insightful, and this new book is no exception.' Janet Martin Soskice, University of Cambridge.
Introductory Remarks. Rethinking Internalization. The Function of Paradox. Subjective Agency – And Passivity. The Problem of Entitlement. Actions and Reactions. The Question of Forgiveness. The Quest for Responsibility. Empathy and Sympathy. Self Formation and Self-Decreation.
About the Author:
Gemma Corradi Fiumara is a former professor of philosophy at the Third University of Rome and a training analyst with the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. Her previous books include The Symbolic Function, The Other Side of Language, The Metaphoric Process and The Mind's Affective Life.