Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : Steven H. Cooper

Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 180
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 96649
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032207551
  • ISBN 10 : 9781032207

Reviews and Endorsements

'For Steven Cooper play is played in the rippling there and then of illusory experiencing. It is not an idle business. It is the pursuit of paradoxical transitions, places where patients can be met, moving with them between fantasy and reality, pain and loss, memory and the longing for a psychic future. Cooper has a gift for meeting patients and readers as he renders clinical psychoanalysis as familiar and genuine while not robbing it of its essential paradox, and enlivening aggression. He brings this vitalizing tension to life as he reworks theoretical lynchpins, such as interpretation, responsiveness, mourning, being, love, and potential. The exercise of play, the movement, the leap, even the faltering (maybe, most so) are a thing to behold in Cooper’s hands and words. He has given us not only a treatise on play, but also a course in ethics. This is a cornerstone book to be read and reread.' - Ken Corbett, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities and A Murder Over A Girl: Justice, Gender, Junior High

'In his new book, Steven Cooper explores playing as a process out of which the patient’s experience of being and becoming is born. He develops a theory of play in which he manages to maintain the mystery and magic of play as well as the ambiguity of inside and outside that are inherent to it. He explores the interdependence of mourning and playing, as well as questions regarding the ethic of playing. The clinical examples in this book are at times engrossing, puzzling, humorous and paradoxical, as they must be in Cooper’s effort to describe the role of playing in the analytic process. Reading this book is an experience that should not be missed.' - Thomas H. Ogden, author of Coming to Life in the Consulting Room: Toward a New Analytic Sensibility and Reclaiming Unlived Life

'This book opens horizons. It explores the role of play in psychoanalysis in new and surprising ways. The importance of play in mourning, in working through depression, in dealing with bad internal objects—these are examples of what Steven Cooper calls "playing in the darkness". He stresses that these aspects of play depend on its fundamentally ethical quality: another theme that is original to this book. This leads to a subtle analysis of the nature and function of the analytic setting. Freud and Klein exemplify its use to increase patients’ knowledge of themselves, while Bion, Ogden and, above all, Winnicott are more concerned to help patients find a different way of being. Cooper’s enlivening comparison of these two approaches is both rigorous and free-wheeling. Like the whole book, it calls on the reader to work at it and play with it at the same time.' - Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society and French Psychoanalytic Association.

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