In psychoanalysis, enlivenment is seen as residing in a sense of self, and this sense of self is drawn from and shaped by lived experience. Enlivening the Self: The First Year, Clinical Enrichment, and the Wandering Mind describes the vitalizing and enrichment of self-experience throughout the life cycle and shows how active experience draws on many fundamental functional capacities, and these capacities come together in support of systems of motivation; that is, organized dynamic grouping of affects, intentions and goals.
The book is divided into three essays:
Infancy – Joseph D. Lichtenberg makes extensive reviews of observation and research on the first year of life and presented and based on these reviews, delineates twelve foundational qualities and capacities of the self as doing, initiating and responding, activating and taking in.
Exploratory therapy - James L. Fosshage looks where therapeutic change is entwined with development. There are many sources illustrated for enhancing the sense of self and Frank M. Lachmann pays pays particular attention to humor and to the role that the twelve qualities and capacities play in the therapeutic process.
The wandering mind - Frank M. Lachmann covers the neuroscience and observation of "mind wandering" is related to the immediacy of the sense of self linking now with past and future.
Throughout the book the authors’ arguments are illustrated with rich clinical vignettes and suggestions for clinical practice. This title will be a must for psychoanalysts, including trainees in psychoanalysis, psychiatry residents and candidates at psychoanalytic institutes and also graduate students in clinical and counselling psychology programs.
In this, their fourth co-authored book, the amazing trio of Lichtenberg, Lachmann, and Fosshage has creatively expanded and deepened their own already impressive contributions to the study of self-experience, exploring the process of, as they term it here, Enlivening the Self. Two modes of experience are scrutinized in order to conceptualise how an enlivened sense of self develops, both in infancy and then throughout life. The first mode concerns the author’s more familiar territory, the individual’s experience of self when he or she is attending to a specific motivational task. But even here, within their more well-travelled realm of motivational systems, the authors have something very new to offer, the elaboration of twelve research and observation-based qualities or capacities that emerge during the first year of life and that potentially serve as life-long sources of enlivenment. These twelve qualities are explored in the first essay of the volume, focused on infancy, and also in the second essay, demonstrating their clinical usefulness in the adult through two well elaborated case examples. The third essay is focussed in entirely new and original territory: the individual’s sense of self when he or she is not focussed on a task, when his or her mind wanders, exploring, in this, their initial foray on the topic, how such mind wandering enlivens the self. The concept of mind wandering, as is always the case with these authors, is based in explorative research and clinical observation, and brings to our awareness an exciting and novel perspective on self-development. This is a wonderful book. I can only recommend that you see for yourself. – Estelle Shane, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles.
Part 1: The Wandering Mind. Development of Self. Maintenance of Self. Continuity of Self. Part 2: The Focussed Mind. Active engagement. Action and Introspection. Action and external engagement. Part 3: The First Year of Life. The 12 qualities and capacities that development in the first year of life. Life-long positive development. Conclusion.
About the Authors:
Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D., is Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, Director Emeritus of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, past President of the International Council for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, and member of the Program Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
James L. Fosshage, Ph.D., is past President of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology; Cofounder, Board Director, and faculty member, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, NYC; founding faculty member, Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, NYC; and Clinical Professor of Psychology, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D., is a founding faculty member of the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, Training and Supervising Analyst, Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.