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Resonance of Suffering: Countertransference in Non-Neurotic Structures

Editor : Andre Green

Resonance of Suffering: Countertransference in Non-Neurotic Structures
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Some sixty years after the "Controversial Discussions" in the early 40s, this passionate book resurrects their spirit on a global scale. Under André Green's generous, tactful yet strong leadership, a small discussion group of noteworthy analysts of the International Psychoanalytical Association, coming from all the theoretical and geographical regions in today's psychoanalytic Babel, met several times over three years in order to deal, by way of the detailed discussion of their clinical experiences, with what to many of those involved was and still is a polemical concept: that of the borderline patient. Such a concept, widely accepted in the United States, remains controversial in many parts of the psychoanalytic universe, mainly in what concerns the multifaceted relationship between psychoanalytic and psychiatric categories. To be remarked upon is the sincerity put to play by the participants in expressing their doubts, their agreements and their disagreements in the heady process of developing a grasp on the others' viewpoint. In this they set a model for future interchanges between analysts. The end result is likely to constitute a landmark in the already protracted discussion of the borderline as a diagnosis, as well as of its transference and countertransference implications. - Manuel J. Gálvez

Reviews and Endorsements:

Contributors: André Green, William I. Grossman, Otto F. Kernberg, Gregorio Kohon, Jaime M. Lutenberg, Jean-Claude Rolland, Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Fernando Urribarri

'This book is the result of Andre Green's initiative in getting together a stellar group of eight analysts from four key regions (France, England, the USA and Latin America), which met for six sessions in Paris over a three-year period in order to study Borderline Personality Disorders. Although Green wanted the group to focus on the issue of countertransference - undoubtedly because of these patient's impairment in the capacity to symbolize early traumata - it soon became apparent that the group needed to broaden the topic to the entire field of non-neurotic disorders including diagnostic, dynamic, theoretical and technical approaches. The discussions and detailed clinical presentations reveal the cutting edge of the thinking of very experienced clinicians on the topic. Six of the eight participants wrote a chapter including a detailed clinical vignette and a summary of their sense of the discussions. The chapters are very frank and reveal many areas of agreement in addition to major disagreements about the technical management of these patients, ranging from the frankly psychotic to rather severe neurotics and character disorder. The search for a common language, and agreement on definitions of terms and modalities of treatment, illuminate the wide gaps in understanding between different analytic communities and the process by which these differences may be engaged in a non polemic manner. This allows the reader an unusual degree of participation in the struggles of the group to reach consensus on complicated issues of tactics and strategy. The book will be useful to both students and experienced practitioners.
- Francis D. Baudry

Notes about the author(s):

André Green is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris. He is Past-President of the Paris Psycho-Analytical Society and was Vice-President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He has been co-editor of the Nouvelle Revue de Psychanalyse. He has also written numerous books, including On Private Madness, The Work of the Negative, The Fabric of Affect in the Psychoanalytical Discourse, The Chains of Eros, Life Narcissism. Death Narcissism and Key Ideas for a Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

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