Questioning Identities: Philosophy in Psychoanalytic Practice

Author(s) : Mary Lynne Ellis, Author(s) : Noreen O'Connor

Questioning Identities: Philosophy in Psychoanalytic Practice

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2010
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 210
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 29113
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855758957
  • ISBN 10 : 1855758954

Also by Mary Lynne Ellis

Also by Noreen O'Connor

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Face-to-face with differences in the analytical relationship analysts frequently confront the limitations of their theories. In this new book Mary Lynne Ellis and Noreen O'Connor move to the heart of 21st century intertwining of psychoanalytical and philosophical critical reflections. They highlight how philosophical perspectives on language, embodiment, time, history, and conscious/unconscious experiences can contribute to clinical interpretations of gender, sexuality, race, age, culture, and class. Vital to Questioning Identities: Philosophy in Psychoanalytic Practice is its emphasis on clinical material, and on attentiveness to the uniqueness of individuals' articulations of their desires and identities.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This welcome book shows up some of the mistaken beliefs about identities and particularly sexual minorities held in the psychoanalytic profession... When engaging with the reality of racism in patients' lives is seen as delving into sociology and beyond the remit of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, there is cause for concern. Ellis and O'Connor's work is lively and well referenced. Unusually, the case examples are diverse, drawn from a variety of class and ethnic backgrounds... The authors have positioned themselves in such a way that they can think about people's lived experiences as clinicians and also rigorously use both philosophical and psychoanalytic work to examine the therapeutic process. Like Wild Desires and Mistaken Identities it will provoke a great deal of thought and discussion.'
- Lennox K. Thomas, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, BAP, Nafsiyat, UK.

'This excellent book offers a revision of psychoanalytic theory. In a compassionate account of individual human experience Ellis and O'Connor locate their inspiring insights within the context of 20th century philosophy. They propose appreciation of individual identities within culture. Gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, as well as attitudes to race, are perceived as potentially fluid. The discourse challenges fixed notions and is animated with lively clinical examples. This is an innovative contribution and will appeal to a wide range of readers including clinicians and theorists, students and experienced practitioners; indeed all who are interested in psychoanalysis.'
- Professor Joy Schaverien, Ph.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst in private practice. Author of Desire and the Female Therapist and The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy

'In this original book Ellis and O'Connor argue for the critical importance of an encounter between psychoanalytic and contemporary European philosophical texts such as those of Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and Foucault, as well as of race and cultural theory. Their sensitive and engaging case illustrations show how this encounter can help us to generate more nuanced interpretations of an individual's sense of identity and difference in the analytical relationship. They offer a dynamic portrait of the socio-historical specificity of a person's lived embodiment in the co-created space of the analytic dyad. I believe this work will be an important contribution to the growing integration of psychoanalysis with the socio-cultural field.'
- Jessica Benjamin, Psychoanalyst, Professor, NYU Postdoctoral Psychology Program. Author of Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis

'This is an intellectually brilliant work for it powerfully questions the psychoanalytic tradition that held philosophical thinking suspect... Ellis and O'Connor emphasize attentiveness to the singularity of psychic suffering, but also take it as the suffering of an embodied being in the world... This new practice challenges the deep-seated belief that "we need to know who we really are in order to be able to live". I hope that it can be translated into all the languages of the world... The task of relating a singular suffering to a context in the world is a great task, one in which psychoanalysis and philosophy must always accompany each other.'
- Zeynep Direk, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Galatasaray University, Istanbul. Author of Levinas and Kierkegaard: Ethics and Politics (in Kierkegaard and Levinas: Ethics, Politics and Religion, edited by Wood and Simmons).

'This book is an ethically challenging and philosophically adventurous work... Ellis and O'Connor explore how philosophical questions of time, embodiment, experience and otherness can be posed in and through psychoanalytic practice. This book is a delightful read.'
- Sara Ahmed, Professor of Race and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College and author of Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects and Others and The Promise of Happiness

'This revolutionary book represents an absolutely vital intervention. It works productively, creatively, and provocatively in the spaces between philosophy and psychoanalysis... Interdisciplinary in the best way it allows philosophy to confront psychoanalysis, and it uses psychoanalysis in new, inventive ways as a result of that encounter.'
- Tina Chanter, Professor of Philosophy, DePaul University, Chicago. Author of The Picture of Abjection: Film, Fetish, and the Nature of Difference

About the Author(s)

Mary Lynne Ellis is a qualified analyst in private practice in North London. With over twenty-five years clinical experience she has contributed to a number of psychoanalytic and art psychotherapy trainings. She has MAs in Art Therapy and in Modern European Philosophy and has lectured widely on phenomenology and psychoanalysis. She is author of Time In Practice: Analytical Experiences of the Times of Our Lives (Karnac, 2008). She is a practising artist.

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Noreen O'Connor is a qualified analyst practising in North London for over twenty-five years. She has a Ph.D in Contemporary European Philosophy (NUI, Cork). As a member of training committees for psychoanalytic trainings for eleven years she taught and supervised trainees alongside her supervision of qualified analysts. She has lectured on philosophy courses in universities and publicly. She is co-author (with Joanna Ryan) of Wild Desires and Mistaken Identities: Lesbianism and Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2003).

More titles by Noreen O'Connor

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