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The Stuff of Dreams : Fantasy, Anxiety and Psychoanalysis
Hall, Kirsty
Routledge / Karnac Books / Softcover / 2007-10-01 / 1855754967
price: $53.10 (may be subject to change)
188 pages
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his book offers a new approach to the problem of anxiety. It suggests that our fantasies offer the key to understanding our anxieties–and vice versa. The principle sources for understanding the phenomenon of fantasy combined with anxiety are drawn from the worlds of psychoanalysis, literature and popular culture. At times, the book offers clinical examples of fantasy/anxiety interactions; at others, literary or popular cultural sources are preferred. The variety of references reflects the chimerical nature of both fantasy and anxiety.

The aim throughout is to make technical psychoanalytic ideas easily accessible to the general reader. The balance between clinical ideas, philosophical ideas and literary sources keeps both potential audiences interested. Clinicians may find the idea of thinking dialectically helpful with their patients. Although this approach is implied in both Freud and Lacan, this is the first book to put dialectics center stage in terms of understanding the patient’s discourse.

Kirsty Hall taught psychoanalysis at Middlesex University and currently teaches both theory and practice on a number of trainings. She continues to work in private practice and to write about issues in the field.


“This is an arresting book that brings together ideas from popular culture, literature and psychoanalysis, while addressing the deeper philosophical question of the meaning we give to life in the face of the inevitability of death.” -- Prophecy Coles, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

“Using ordinary language, [Hall] demonstrates the importance of our commonplace fantasies and anxieties. Furthermore, she writes very well—reading this book was a genuine pleasure for me. The combination of her clinical experience, cultural references and knowledge of differing psychoanalytic theories becomes more and more a rarity that we have to cherish.” -- Paul Verhaeghe, Chair of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Ghent, Belgium


Introduction; 1) Variations on a Theme of Negation; 2) Other Minds, Other Worlds; 3) Working Without a Safety Net; 4) What Happens When the Plot Gets Lost; 5) Gothic Tales and Other Stories; 6) I Believe ...; 7) The Meaning of Fantasy and Anxiety; 8) Fantasy Terminable and Interminable; References.

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