Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series , vol 19
The burgeoning literature in Freudian, interpersonal, object-relational, relational, and self-psychological psychoanalysis increasingly directs our attention to basic questions about communication. How do analysts communicate with themselves and their patients? What facilitates openness to self-awareness on the part of patient and analyst alike? And, most saliently, how does each participant in an analytic process influence the other? In this richly textured examination of communication, Lichtenberg, Lachmann, and Fosshage hold that all manner of analytic communication - verbal and nonverbal, implicit and explicit, procedural and symbolic - implicates and falls back on a persistent spirit of inquiry. The spirit of inquiry is the guiding attitude that underlies the analytic process; indeed, psychoanalysis itself signifies that special type of intimacy that grows out of a shared spirit of inquiry.
Thoroughly grounded in contemporary developmental research, A Spirit of Inquiry: Communication in Psychoanalysis explores the ecological niche of the infant-caregiver dyad and examines the evolutionary leap that permits communication to take place concurrently in nonverbal and verbal modes. Via the uniquely human capacity for speech, the authors hold, intercommunication deepens into a continuous process of listening to, sensing into, and deciphering motivation-driven messages. The analytic exchange is unique owing to a broad communicative repertoire that encompasses all the permutations of day-to-day exchanges: moments of addressing serious questions; of playing with images; of suspending thought and giving way to pressing physiological needs or to feelings of love or hate. It is the spirit of inquiry that endows such communicative moments with an overarching sense of purpose and thereby permits analysis to become an intimate relationship decisively unlike any other.
In elucidating the special character of this relationship, the authors refine their understanding of motivational systems theory by showing how exploration, previously conceptualized as a discrete motivational system, simultaneously infuses all the motivational systems with an integrative dynamic that tends to a cohesive sense of self. Of equal note is their discerning use of contemporary attachment research, which provides convincing evidence of the link between crucial relationships and communication.
Replete with detailed case studies that illustrate both the context and nature of specific analytic inquiries, A Spirit of Inquiry presents a novel perspective, sustained by empirical research, for integrating the various communicative modalities that arise in any psychoanalytic treatment. The result is a deepened understanding of subjectivity and intersubjectivity in analytic relationships. Indeed, the book is a compelling brief for the claim that subjectivity and intersubjectivity, in their full complexity, can only be understood through clinically relevant and scientifically credible theories of motivation and communication.
--- from the publisher