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Affect, Representation and Language: Between the Silence and the Cry
Howard B. Levine
IPA & Routledge / Softcover / 2021-11-01 / 0367774313
reg price: $53.50 our price: $ 50.83
176 pages
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This book extends psychoanalytic theory and practice beyond neurosis to what formerly were the limits of analytic understanding, presenting and elaborating on the rationale and implications of the transformational dimension of psychoanalytic practice.

This work sits at the crossroads of the thinking of Freud, Bion, Winnicott, Green and the Paris Psycho-Somatic School. It includes the thinking of other contemporary French psychoanalysts such as Laplanche, Donnet, L. Kahn and the Botellas, plus Alvarez, Scarfone, Ferro, Ogden, and more, re-examining Freud’s epistemological bases and their implications for his theory of psychic functioning. The book follows Freud in elaborating on the radical implications of his 1937 Constructions paper that leads to and underlies the thoughts of Bion on intuition and Winnicott on the working through of the consequences of early pre-verbal environmental failure. In so doing, it makes a case for psychoanalysis as a powerful treatment for borderline, primitive narcissistic, post-traumatic and other character disorders and conditions – including perversions, addictions, psychosomatic, autistic and panic disorders.

Offering readers a metapsychology that is both contemporary and clinically near, Affect, Representation and Language provides practitioners at all levels of analytic experience a way of understanding and treating contemporary patients.


"In this very important book about psychoanalytic process and the functioning of the analyst-patient dyad, Howard Levine offers an original synthesis of Freud’s metapsychology with the theories of authors such as Bion, Winnicott, Green and the Psychosomaticians of the Paris School. The result is a clinical approach to non-neurotic phenomena and unrepresented mental states that emphasizes representation, not as a given but as ‘a developmental achievement through which previously unbound or inchoate forces become bound and contained in the psyche." – Evelyne Sechaud, former president of the European Psychoanalytic Federation; former president, training and supervising analyst of the APF (French Psychoanalytic Association).

"Howard B. Levine’s book rests on the idea that psychoanalysis is ultimately about the patient’s (and the analyst’s) thinking capacity and the psyche’s limitations in responding to the demands for work made by the clash between external and psychic reality. As every analyst knows, the task is complex, sometimes close to impossible. Psychoanalysts, therefore, need to resort to as many luminaries in their field as they can, granted that no single author, no matter how great, can be credited with possessing the final truth. But then another problem arises: the multiple analytic idioms represent a challenge of their own. Levine brilliantly meets that challenge by displaying an exemplary capacity to navigate between many exponents of the British, French, North- and Latin-American analytic traditions and offering a personal synthesis rich with original ideas and clinical illustrations." – Dominique Scarfone, training and supervising analyst, Canadian Psychoanalytic Society Institute, Montreal French Branch.

"What are the contents of the conscious and unconscious mind? The stuff that our inner worlds are made out of, the raw materials of our innermost selves? What happens when lacunae, lapses or failures occur, when we observe modalities of unstructured functioning, of unrepresented states of mind? Since Freud, psychoanalysis has acutely explored these issues offering a number of different accounts of the architecture, dynamics and texture of psychic life: the logic and logistics of the soul.

Howard Levine is at the forefront of thinkers who are currently examining these issues in a contemporary framework. He expertly sums up decades of thinking deeply about these issues and presents his reflections in crystal clear prose and with all the exciting commitment and enthusiasm of the best psychoanalytic thinkers at work today. This is a book to be read, re-read and closely studied." – Elias M. da Rocha Barros, São Paulo Society and fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

Table of Contents

1. Psychoanalysis and Subjectivity. A Personal Note 2. Freud’s Theory of Representation and the Expansion of Analytic Technique 3. Clinical Implications of Unrepresented States: Effacement, Discourse and Construction 4. The Fundamental Epistemological Situation 5. Psychoanalysis and the Problem of Truth 6. The Analyst’s Authority. Suggestion, Seduction, Compliance and Influence 7. Trauma and Representation 8. Making the Unthinkable Thinkable: Autism, ASD and Representation 9. Word, Body, Thing: On the Movement From Soma to Psyche 10. Psychosomatics and Unrepresented States

About the Author:

Howard B. Levine is a member of APSA, PINE, the Contemporary Freudian Society, NYU Post-Doc’s Contemporary Freudian Track, and in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is the author of Transformations de l’Irreprésentable, editor-in-chief of the Routledge W.R. Bion Studies book series and a director and founding member of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies.

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