In First Principles, Alessandra Lemma examines the centrality of applied ethics to psychoanalytic practice, The book focuses on the articulation of an accessible framework for developing and exercising an identifiable method - an ethical self-discipline - to support critical reflection on therapists' psychoanalytic work with patients and to help them to approach the resolution of ethical dilemmas. Integrating key concepts from the field of applied ethics, and bioethics specifically, Lemma re-interprets them for use within a psychoanalytic framework, articulating how we can understand psychoanalytically the concepts of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, justice, and veracity and deploy these to guide clinical work.
Using clinical examples, the book outlines a working model for how therapists can reflect on their practice, as well as devoting a chapter on how to teach ethics within psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings and outlining a detailed curriculum for teaching ethics. This book is essential reading for psychoanalytic practitioners as well as clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, and psychoanalysts who work in the psychoanalytic tradition.
Table of Contents:
1. The unbearable silence of responsibility
2. Bioethical principles
3. A psychoanalytic principled approach
4. The ethics of listening
5. On getting it wrong
6. Apologies matter
7. Principles in action
8. Developing the ethical chóros
Epilogue: A plea for a measure of irony
About the Author:
Alessandra Lemma, Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society and Chartered Clinical Psychologist, is a Visiting Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London and Consultant, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. For 16 years she worked at the Tavistock Clinic where she was, at different stages, Head of Psychology and Professor of Psychological Therapies in conjunction with Essex University. She was a recipient of the 2022 Sigourney Award in recognition of her inventive theoretical and clinical contributions to understanding body modification practices, the impacts of technology on psychic functioning and transgender identities as well as for her efforts in developing and disseminating worldwide a brief psychoanalytic intervention for mood disorders.