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Affect in Psychoanalysis: A Clinical Synthesis
Spezzano, Charles
Routledge / The Analytic Press / Softcover / 2003-05-01 / 0881633984
Relational / Interpersonal Psychoanalysis
reg price: $77.95 our price: $ 66.26 (may be subject to change)
264 pages
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Relational Perspectives Book Series Vol. 2

Drawing on the writings of Freud, Fairbairn, Klein, Sullivan, and Winnicott, Spezzano offers a radical redefinition of the analytic process as the intersubjective elaboration and regulation of affect. The plight of analytic patients, he holds, is imprisonment within crude fantasy elaborations of developmentally significant feeling states. Analytic treatment fosters the patient's capacity to keep alive in consciousness, and hence reflect on, these previously warded-off affective states; it thereby provides a second chance to achieve competence in using feeling states to understand the self within its relational landscape.

--- from the publisher


"Affect in Psychoanalysis is an exciting book that draws on all psychoanalytic traditions in a remarkably unbiased and wonderfully balanced way. Spezzano remains fair to all these traditions while extracting what is valuable from each to construct a model of psychoanalytic theory and practice in which affects have the central role they deserve."

- Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

"Unafraid to question authority and challenge received wisdom, Dr. Spezzano adds a significant new vooice to the ongoing psychoanalytic dialogue on affects. With erudition and synthetic skill, he explores affect theory from multiple perspectives without losing sight of the relational context. He writes about these complex matters clearly and simply; his book, in addition to being highly informative, is a pleasure to read."

James W. Barron, Ph.D., author, Humor and Psyche (Analytic Press, 1999)

"This is a much-needed book on a crucial yet neglected topic. Spezzano tackles some of the thorniest conceptual issues in psychoanalysis, always staying in touch with the vital core of clinical work. His approach is original and stimulating - it will help us take a fresh look at the way we think about our patients. I recommend the book to therapists of all orientations and to other interested in studying the human condition."

- Jay Greenberg, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Willian Alanson White Institute


Part I: Knowing and Talking About Affect. The Place of Psychoanalysis in the Conversation About Human Affective Life. How Psychoanalysts Talk About Affects Now. Part II: The Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thinking About Affects. Freud's Alleged Missing Theory of Affects Revisited. Affect and Its Regulation in Post-Freudian Theory. Part III: The Dialectics of Affect. Patients and Their Discontents: Who or What Is Responsible? Excitement, Certainty, Relational Coordination, and Competence. Part IV: The Technical Implications of Affect Theory. Affects, Resistance, and Character. The Struggle to Imagine.

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Relational / Interpersonal Psychoanalysis
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