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Autistic Phenomena and Unrepresented States: Explorations in the Emergence of Self
Edited by Howard B Levine and Jani Santamaría
Phoenix Publishing House / Softcover / Feb 2023
9781800131262 (ISBN-10: 1800131267)
reg price: $62.50 our price: $ 59.38 (may be subject to change)
296 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

A thoughtful, accessible account of developments in psychoanalytic thinking from Freud to the present day, which explores unrepresented states, autistic objects, black holes and many other phenomena particular to neurodiverse patients. It is relevant to all clinicians working with hard to reach patients, in particular those working with children.

With contributions from Anne Alvarez, Joshua Durban, Jeffrey L. Eaton, Bernard Golse, Didier Houzel, Howard B. Levine, Suzanne Maiello, Sylvain Missonnier, Bernd Nissen, Marganit Ofer, and Jani Santamaría.

The capacity to create psychic representations is now understood to be a developmental achievement. Without it, meaning cannot be ascertained and this can lead to “psychic voids” and “unrepresented states”, which can contribute to the development of autism and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Unrepresented states are also implicated and encountered in other, non-autistic, non-neurotic conditions, such as psychosomatic disorders, addictions, perversions, and primitive character disorders. The affects that unrepresented states produce or are associated with are often those of terror, emptiness, annihilation and despair.

The organisation of the psyche consists of psychotic – i.e. unstructured – as well as neurotic parts of the mind; unintegrated as well as integrated areas; and unrepresented areas with little meaning as well as represented states consisting of specific ideas imbued with affect. Given this organisation, we should expect to find both an unstructured and a dynamic unconscious in all patients. This implies that, to some degree, unrepresented and unintegrated states are universal and will exist and be encountered in all of us. Consequently, the opportunities and challenges presented by the understanding and treatment of autism and ASD, where the unrepresented and its consequences (e.g. defensive organisations employed to protect against annihilation anxiety and catastrophic dread) can be encountered may offer us metaphors and clues relevant to aspects of the treatment of all patients, no matter what their dominant diagnoses may be.

Packed with theory and helpful case studies, this carefully edited collection from an international array of experts in the field is essential reading for all practising clinicians.

Table of Contents:

About the editors and contributors


CHAPTER ONE: Making the unthinkable thinkable: vitalisation, reclamation, containment, and representation
Howard B. Levine

CHAPTER TWO: Finding the wavelength: tools in communication with children with autism
Anne Alvarez

CHAPTER THREE: From chaos to Caravaggio: technical considerations in the psychoanalysis of autisto-psychotic states in relation to sensory-perceptual fragmentation
Joshua Durban

CHAPTER FOUR: The birth of emotional experience under the sea: a clinical case
Jani Santamaría

CHAPTER FIVE: The third topography: a topography of the bond, a perinatal topography
Sylvain Missonnier and Bernard Golse

CHAPTER SIX: Infantile autism: A pathology of otherness
Didier Houzel

CHAPTER SEVEN: Multi–two-dimensional: on autistic thinking
Marganit Ofer

CHAPTER EIGHT: From screaming to dreaming: notes on anxiety and its transformation
Jeffrey L. Eaton

CHAPTER NINE: A “felt-self”: aspects of symbolising through psychotherapy
Jeffrey L. Eaton

CHAPTER TEN: The mute voice: autistic enclaves and transgenerational transmission
Suzanne Maiello

CHAPTER ELEVEN: From nothing to being? Technical considerations for dealing with unrepresented states
Bernd Nissen


About the Editors:

Howard B. Levine is a member of APSA, PINE, the Contemporary Freudian Society, on the faculty of the NYU Post-Doc Contemporary Freudian track, on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Inquiry, editor-in-chief of the Routledge Wilfred Bion Studies Book Series, and in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He has authored many articles, book chapters, and reviews on psychoanalytic process and technique and the treatment of primitive personality disorders. His co-edited books include Unrepresented States and the Construction of Meaning (Karnac, 2013); On Freud’s Screen Memories (Karnac, 2014); The Wilfred Bion Tradition (Karnac 2016); Bion in Brazil (Karnac, 2017), and Andre Green Revisited: Representation and the Work of the Negative (Karnac, 2018). He is the author of Transformations de l’Irreprésentable (Ithaque, 2019) and the forthcoming Between the Silence and the Cry (Routledge).

Jani Santamaría is a Training Analyst and Supervisor of Child and Adolescents of the Mexican Psychoanalytic Association (APM); Latin American Board Member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA ) 2019-2023; Director of the A. Santamaría Psicoanálisis México A. C. Educational Association; Chair of the International Bion Conference Mexico City, 2022; Chair of the Latin-American Winnicott Congress, Mexico City, 2017; Former Director of Community and Culture for FEPAL (2016-2018); and a member of the International Advisory Committee: Routledge Bion Studies Book Series. She has a private practice of child and adult psychoanalysis in Mexico City and has authored many national and international articles, book chapters, and reviews.

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