In Hidden Questions, Clinical Musings, M. Robert Gardner chronicles an odyssey of self-discovery that has taken him beneath and beyond the categoies and conventions of traditional psychoanalysis. His essays offer a vision of psychoanalytic inquiry that blends art and science, a vision in which the subtly intertwining not-quite-conscious questions of analysand and analyst, gradually discerned, open to ever-widening vistas of shared meaning. Gardner is wonderfully illuminating in exploring the associations, images, and dreams that have fueled his own analytic inquiries, but he is no less compelling in writing about the different perceptual modalities and endlessly variegated strategies that can be summoned to bring hidden questions to light.
This masterfully assembled collection exemplifies the lived experience of psychoanalysis of one of its most gifted and reflective practitioners. In his vivid depictions of analysis oscillating between the poles of art and science, word and image, inquiry and self-inquiry, Gardner offers precious insights into tensions that are basic to the analytic endeavor. Evincing rare virtuosity of form and content, these essays are evocative clinical gems, radiating the humility, gentle skepticism, and abiding wonder of this lifelong self-inquirer. Gardner's most uncommon musings are a gift to the reader.
"Dr. Gardner's Hidden Questions, Clinical Musings is full of his characteristic warmth, wit, and wisdom, his erudition, and his unique personal style. He is a wonderful writer - and he is one of the very few of us about whom we need not add 'for a psychoanalyst.' He has a playful mind, one that not only can contain contradictions, but delights in them in the service of teaching us about himself, the psyche, and the human condition. In M. Robert Gardner we have found our psychoanalytic Montaigne."
- Leonard Shengold, M.D., author, Is There Life Without Mother? (Analytic Press, 2000)
"Bob Gardner is that rarest of birds. He embodies a seamless conjunction, a coordination, of talents: a fine intelligence, the voice and pen of a poet, the eye and hand of an artist, an imagination that flies without effort between the profound and the everyday, the curiosity of a cat, and the imaginings about human beings of a born psychoanalyst. He is a constructive skeptic, willing to embrace and wrestle with ambiguities and tolerate their endlessness. He breathes integrity. And thank God for his sense of humor! Following Self Inquiry, Gardner didn't publish much, so the people who know and admire him tend to be those with whom he has had direct contact. Now, following his wonderful On Trying to Teach, we have this beautiful collection of largely unpublished papers, Hidden Questions, Clinical Musings. Read it! His soul, long manifest in informally spoken words, shines through its pages."
- Vann Spruiell, M.D., Training Analyst, New Orleans Psychoanalytic Institute
"What a treat this collection is! Robert Gardner is a necessary voice of sanity, restless curiosity, and humor in psychoanalysis. In this abundant harvest of his musings and reflections, his recollections of his patients, colleagues, teachers, and himself, his slowly and gently achieved understanding of human nature (he would never countenance its being called wisdom), Dr. Gardner has given us, in one place, a kind of summation of what he has learned in a professional lifetime."
- Shelly Orgel, M.D., Former Director, The Psychoanalytic Institute at NYU Medical Center
Table of Contents
- A Busman's Holiday: A Psychiatrist Goes to the Barber
- On Psychiatry and Other Schooling
- Analysis and Self-Analysis: Looking Two Ways at Once
- To Be (Or Not to Be) An Analyst
- On Talking to Ourselves: Some Self-Analytical Reflections on Self-Analysis
- Recollections: Sexuality, Neurosis, and Analysis
- The Art of Psychoanalysis: On Oscillation and Other Matters
-Is That a Fact? Empiricism Revisited, Or a Psychoanalyst at Sea
- Free Association Revisited
About the Author
The author of Self Inquiry (Analytic Press, 1989) and On Trying to Teach (Analytic Press, 1994), M. Robert Gardner, M.D., is a founder and training analyst of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England.