First Thoughts: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Beginnings

Author(s) : Jayne Hankinson

First Thoughts: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Beginnings

Book Details

  • Publisher : Phoenix Publishing House
  • Published : 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 274
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 95811
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691265
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691

Reviews and Endorsements

I get to review many manuscripts and book proposals and hardly ever come across work with the degree of freshness and relevance shown by Jayne Hankinson’s thinking. I have gradually become convinced that the ideas constitute original thinking and that they will be found clinically relevant by a wide variety of readers. - Chris Mawson, Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

In this enjoyable book, Jayne Hankinson presents a rich blend of personal experience and reminiscence with an exploration of historical writings, creation myths, and psychoanalytic ideas, offering a range of interesting insights into the notion of beginnings and how they shape individuals’ lives and thinking. - Armand D’Angour, Professor of Classics, Jesus College Oxford.

In finding her own way of being a psychoanalyst, Jayne Hankinson has used her own unease with the foundational texts as the thread for a search through a wider literature encompassing myths, science, literature, and approaches to sexuality in her determination to find her own way. This is a brave, honest record of that search. - Lesley Caldwell, Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London.

In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, Jayne Hankinson has undertaken a remarkable journey into the phenomenon of “beginnings”. Any reader wary, or indeed weary, of hermeneutics will discover here a lucid and highly accessible description of this method of enquiry. The result is an authoritative but also deeply personal text that will speak to all who are interested in personal or professional identity, both within the psychotherapeutic community and beyond. Along the way, she explores the purpose and evolution of creation myths, wherever they may be found. She examines their role in organised religion, where she makes a convincing argument that they frequently function to justify a particular present, rather than being “structures which represent a search for the truth”.

However, the book is not just or even primarily about beginnings as found in religious thought. Rather, she goes on to apply these insights to the foundations or, as she terms them, the “first thoughts” of psychoanalysis, and, in particular, the British school of psychoanalysis, where she identifies a parallel process – that of restriction rather than freedom of thought. Delving more deeply still, she argues that creation myths can be understood as structures that contain, and even solve, our existential questions, and offers the profound observation that, in the absence of such structures, “being” is impossible. Having identified the problem, she goes on to present her own creation myth – a structure which enables rather than impedes creativity and growth. This is a work which cuts to the heart of beginnings, and says something important about how the way we understand beginning shapes us psychologically and existentially. In doing so, it touches us all. - Simon du Plock, Professor of Psychology, Metanoia Institute.

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