'Joseph Breuer’s celebrated patient, Anna O., designated psychoanalysis to be a ‘talking cure’. She was correct insofar as psychoanalysis does place verbal exchange at the center stage. However, the focus upon the patient’s and therapist’s speaking activities diverted attention from how the two parties listen to each other. Psychoanalysis is a listening and talking cure. Both elements are integral to clinical work. Listening with no talking can only go so far. Talking without listening can mislead and harm. And yet, the listening end of the equation has received short shrift in analytic literature.
This book aims to rectify this problem by focusing upon analytic listening. Taking Freud’s early description of how an analyst ought to listen as its starting point, the book traverses considerable historical, theoretical, and clinical territory. The ground covered ranges from diverse methods of listening through the informative potential of the countertransference to the outer limits of our customary attitude where psychoanalytic listening no longer helps and might even be contraindicated.'
- Salmon Akhtar, from his Introduction
About the Author:
Salman Akhtar, MD, was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. His more than 300 publications include nine books: Broken Structures; Quest for Answers; Inner Torment; Immigration and Identity; New Clinical Realms; Objects of Our Desire; Regarding Others; Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy; and The Damaged Core, as well as twenty-six edited or co-edited volumes in psychiatry and psychoanalysis and six collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.