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Good Feelings: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Positive Emotions and Attitudes

Editor : Salman Akhtar

Good Feelings: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Positive Emotions and Attitudes
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Synopsis:

This tightly edited volume opens a new vista in psychoanalysis by focusing upon positive and life-enhancing emotions and attitudes. The realms it covers include love, friendship, enthusiasm, courage, tact, resilience, and forgiveness, among others. Seminal papers on these topics have existed but remain scattered throughout the psychoanalytic literature. This book brings them together in a harmonious gestalt. It is more than an anthology, however. Each paper is followed by a freshly written commentary that critically evaluates the paper and brings it in consonance with up-to-date, contemporary psychoanalytic knowledge. Issues of development, adaptation, psychopathology, and analytic technique, as these pertain to the positive dimension of affective experience, are elucidated.

Reviews and Endorsements:

Contributors: Salman Akhtar, George Christie, Michael Eigen, Bien Filet, Hector Juan Fiorini, Peter Fonagy, Cesar Garza-Guerrero, Ralph Greenson, Otto Kernberg, Ilany Kogan, Nicholas Kouretas, Rainer Krause, Alessandra Lemma, Sergio Lewkowicz, Mary Kay O'Neil, Henri Parens, Warren Poland, Leo Rangell, Irwin Rosen, Lisa Rosof, Rita
Schulman, Beth Seelig, Sverre Varvin, Philip Weissman.

The book also deals with the broader and overarching issue of the 'goodness' that accompanies, causes, and is enhanced by the positive emotions in consideration here. Thus the ever-elusive and puzzling issue of psychoanalytic morality finds a place in the discourse, with all its rich and complex theoretical and technical implications. The fact that the contributors to this volume come from all around the globe (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, and the United States) and represent a variety of psychoanalytic cultures adds flux and spice to the optimistic message of the text. Together the voices of these gifted psychoanalysts create an intelligent symphony of wisdom listening to which is not only instructive to the mind but a joy to the senses as well.

'This extraordinary book is devoted to a psychoanalytic exploration of good feelings, that is, positive enotions and attitudes such as love, friendship, courage, enthusiasm, resilience, faith and many more. It is unusual not only in its subject matter, so rarely touched upon in our literature, but also in the breadth of its contributions from close to a dozen countries throughout the analytic world. It provides fascinating reading for those of us who, after those days when we are immersed in the anger, grief and pain of our practice, need to be reminded once again of the goodness that is also part of the human condition.'
- Dr. Sheldon Bach, Faculty: IPTAR and NY Freudian Society and author of Getting from Here to There

Notes about the author(s):

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. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Salman Akhtar received the Sigourney Award in 2012.

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