Beyond Doer and Done to integrates new clinical developments in relational analysis while reformulating crucial themes such as the development of intersubjectivity, the splitting of gender complementarity, and recognizing difference in relation to the other. Jessica Benjamin, known for her path breaking work in The Bonds of Love, analyzes how the denial of mutual dependency and failures of recognition culminate in the breakdown phenomena that she describes as the complementarity of "doer and done-to." Elaborating the clinical uses of the Third in moving from enactments of this complementarity into play and paradox, Benjamin expands the reach of recognition theory. She shows how relational analysis has developed the radical potential of acknowledgment in repairing both individual and social trauma, even as it has made us more attuned to the fearful histories and shameful feelings that accompany them. Benjamin’s idea of restoring the Third after breakdown opens up a broader understanding of the function of mutuality in recognizing our shared vulnerability and creativity.
Bringing together Benjamin’s ground-breaking concepts, Beyond Doer and Done to will be an essential reading for those interested in contemporary intersubjective work, both psychoanalysts and psychotherapists as well as theorists in the humanities and social sciences.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Recognition, Intersubjectivity and the Third
1. Beyond Doer and Done-To: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness
2. Our Appointment in Thebes: Acknowledgment, The Failed Witness, and Fear of harming
3. Transformations in Thirdness: Recognition between Mutuality, Vulnerability and Asymmetry
I. You’ve Come a Long Way Baby
II. Responsibility, Vulnerability and the Analyst’s Surrender to Change
4. Beyond "Only One Can Live:" Witnessing, Acknowledgment and the Moral Third
5. Another Take on the Riddle of Sex: Excess and Affect in Light of Gender Complementarity
6. Playing and Paradox: The Uses of Enactment
I. The Paradox is the Thing
II. Recoupling Rhythmic and Symbolic in Play
III. Putting Music and Lyrics Together
7. Playing at the Edge: Negation and the Need for a Lawful World
I. Beginning with No…And Yes
II. Trauma, Violence and Recognition of the Other (Me)
About the Author
Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and supervising faculty member at New York University Postdoctoral Psychology Program and the Stephen Mitchell Relational Studies Center in New York. She is author of the Routledge title Shadow of the Other.