This tightly edited volume opens a new vista in psychoanalysis by focusing upon positive and life-enhancing emotions and attitudes. The realms it covers include love, friendship, enthusiasm, courage, tact, resilience, and forgiveness, among others. Seminal papers on these topics have existed but remain scattered throughout the psychoanalytic literature. This book brings them together in a harmonious gestalt. It is more than an anthology, however. Each paper is followed by a freshly written commentary that critically evaluates the paper and brings it in consonance with up-to-date, contemporary psychoanalytic knowledge. Issues of development, adaptation, psychopathology, and analytic technique, as these pertain to the positive dimension of affective experience, are elucidated.
The book also deals with the broader and overarching issue of the ‘goodness’ that accompanies, causes, and is enhanced by the positive emotions in consideration here. Thus the ever-elusive and puzzling issue of psychoanalytic morality finds a place in the discourse, with all its rich and complex theoretical and technical implications. The fact that the contributors to this volume come from all around the globe (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, and the United States) and represent a variety of psychoanalytic cultures adds flux and spice to the optimistic message of the text. Together the voices of these gifted psychoanalysts create an intelligent symphony of wisdom, listening to which is not only instructive to the mind but a joy to the senses as well.
"This extraordinary book is devoted to a psychoanalytic exploration of good feelings, that is, positive enotions and attitudes such as love, friendship, courage, enthusiasm, resilience, faith and many more. It is unusual not only in its subject matter, so rarely touched upon in our literature, but also in the breadth of its contributions from close to a dozen countries throughout the analytic world. It provides fascinating reading for those of us who, after those days when we are immersed in the anger, grief and pain of our practice, need to be reminded once again of the goodness that is also part of the human condition."
- Dr. Sheldon Bach, Faculty: IPTAR and NY Freudian Society and author of Getting from Here to There
About the Editor:
Salman Akhtar is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He is the Book Review Editor of the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, Film Review Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is the author of a number of books, including Broken Structures, Inner Torment, Objects of Our Desire, and Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy. He has also contributed to many edited books. Dr. Akhtar is the recipient of several awards including the Best Paper of the Year Award and Edith Sabshin Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Sigmund Freud Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychoanalysis from the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians.