This collection of papers, spanning the last 15 years, presents a spirited defence of Freud's clinical method, considering the "crisis of psychoanalysis" in the wider context of a crisis of reflective thought in society as a whole. Expressing the wish to "clarify and polish the glass through which we see the psychoanalytic experience", Jorge Ahumada seeks to redefine the functions of psychoanalysis for the era of mass media, in which the classic Freudian neuroses have mostly been replaced by what he terms "pathologies of peremptory gratification".
'The Logics of the Mind considers the impact on psychoanalytic theory and practice of the current shift from a culture of the written word to one of 'visual power'; induction, empiricism, and the possibility of establishing a "clinical fact"; acculturation via the media as a spurious substitute for the nuclear family; and television as a pervasive provider of "autistic forms". It discusses a topography of the mind which builds on the work of Wilfred Bion, and the "apparently benign delusion" of one's own goodness.
Rather than focusing on theory, Ahumada stresses throughout the logic underlying clinical method, which he sees as the central grounding of psychoanalysis, and the primary source of genuine advances in theory itself. He makes a strong case that "the clinical and conceptual honing of the analytical instrument should be kept firmly away from cultural or intellectual fashions," which can be detrimental to actual clinical practice.
'It has been Ahumada's core endeavor to deepen the understanding of our clinical method.. I am confident that this volume will be of significant use to the reader in the handling of his or her practice, and of lasting value for the psychoanalytic discipline'
- R. Horatio Etchegoyen, from his Foreword.
About the Author:
Jorge L. Ahumada trained in psychiatry both in Argentina and in the US before completing his psychoanalytic training in Buenos Aires, where he is now working as a psychoanalyst in private practice.