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Listening to Others : Developmental and Clinical Aspects of Empathy and Attunement
Akhtar, Salman (Edt)
Jason Aronson / Rowman & Littlefield / Softcover / 2007-03-01 / 076570515X
price: $40.95 (may be subject to change)
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This volume addresses the critical psychoanalytic issue of effective listening. While this issue has been discussed widely in the literature, most often the discussions are from the standpoint of technique. Listening to Others is among the first texts to consider the listening process from the so-called 'two-person' perspective—i.e., that which is aligned with intersubjective, interpersonal, and relational theories. The contributors to this volume all are well-known experts in contemporary psychoanalytic theory.


Here wise and experienced clinicians use moving and candid clinical examples to offer a deep understanding of the profoundly human aspects of the psychoanalytic relationship. Listening to Others now provides the missing half of the "talking cure"—namely, the art of listening. This slim volume is a jewel not to be missed.
— Axel Hoffer, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, PINE (Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East) Associate Clinical Professor of Psychi

Listening to Others is a rare blend of clinical excellence, theoretical clarity, and contemporary relevance. From the tender dyad of the infant and mother to the delicacy and complexity of the analytic situation, readers will get a unique integration of the developmental perspective with current thinking about the "talking and listening cure." Not since Reik's classic Listening with the Third Ear has such a volume been produced.
— Ira Brenner, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Philadelphia Center of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical

the book is written at a very high level of scholarship and would be an extremely useful adjunct to courses in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy. It represents leading-edge, postmodern, contemporary thinking as applied to psychoanalytic psychotherapy and is an excellent contribution to the recent psychoanalytic literature.

a book that takes an in-depth look at listening...fresh insight about the role, function and dynamics of listening within the clinical encounter and presents some important ideas which will be of interest to all clinicians.
— 2008; Journal Of Analytical Psychology

Salman Akhtar brings his psychoanalytic renaissance sensibilities and prodigious scholarship to the task of composing an inspired group of Margaret Mahler Symposium participants who represent the modern plurality of theories within our discipline. The subject is 'Listening' —surely a good thing to promote among all practicing therapists. 'Listening' itself is not enough, of course, because one must learn from the patient's talk, practice silence discriminately and try to use what one gleans to broaden one's own and the patient's understanding. The patient reciprocally learns to listen to the analyst in order to refute, discover authentic meanings and catalyze his or her surprising unique associations. We are in dialogue during treatments. The analysts in the text too are in dialogue with one another in their commentaries. This volume is replete with all the subtleties surrounding the act of listening, and contains the attitudes and examples of work from some of the best-known analysts of our era. The book will be a wonderful teaching aid.
— Rosemary H. Balsam M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Yale Medical School; training and supervising analyst, Western New England Institute

Contributions by Salman Akhtar; Evelyne Schwaber; Sydney Pulver; Jessica Benjamin; Theodore Fallon; Theodore Jacobs; David Sachs and Henri Parens


Chapter 1 Listening to the spoken and the unspoken
Chapter 2 The unending struggle to listen
Chapter 3 Clinical reflections on empathy
Chapter 4 Listening and being listened to
Chapter 5 Intersubjectivity and attunement
Chapter 6 Listening, dreaming, and sharing
Chapter 7 Using the therapist's subjective experience
Chapter 8 Mother-child interaction as an early prototype of listening

About the Editor:

Dr. Salman Akhtar is professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College, lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and training and supervising analyst at the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. He has published widely in the field of psychoanalysis and psychiatry and has additionally published six volumes of poetry.

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Rowman & Littlefield