A Psychoanalytic Odyssey: Painted Guinea Pigs, Dreams, and Other Realities

Author(s) : Eugene J. Mahon

A Psychoanalytic Odyssey: Painted Guinea Pigs, Dreams, and Other Realities

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : January 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 256
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Culture and Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 33311
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780491448
  • ISBN 10 : 1780491441
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Psychoanalytic process, as Eugene Mahon envisions it, is an odyssey through the mind of each of his analysands, the many children and adults he has treated over the forty years of his analytic practice. The painted guinea pigs of the title refer to three-year old children mourning their school pet. “Who painted him?” a child asked when a replacement pet of a slightly different colour arrived in the school a few days after the death of the original pet, as if the dead can return from the grave after a paint job. This book is full of arresting images like this as the author explores many of the most basic, fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis such as repression, insight, transference, play, child analysis, working through, dreams within dreams, jokes, puns, parapraxes, as well as the uncanny in dreams, screen memories, symptom, character and Freud’s discovery of the Oedipus complex. This book is a highly original, creative psychoanalytic odyssey, a most intriguing psychological voyage you will not want to disembark from.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Eugene Mahon is immersed in the world of childhood and he is also immersed in the world of Shakespeare, as was Sigmund Freud. His unique combination of psychoanalytic insight, poetry, and playfulness is rare to find and provides a powerful platform for the fascinating clinical chapters of this book. To read him is both a pleasure and a moral enlightenment. I cannot recommend this book too highly, both for beginners as an enticement into the analytic world and for the experienced as a pause for reflection.’
— Sheldon Bach, author of The How-To Book for Students of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

‘This is a brilliant book. Eugene Mahon is a psychoanalyst, and the book is about psychoanalysis, but he is also much more – a poet, a Shakespeare scholar, and a gifted writer. These are all apparent as he invites us to join him on a series of psychoanalytic journeys. He illustrates the basic concepts of psychoanalysis by way of vivid accounts, free of jargon, that capture the human transactions that are the core of the psychoanalytic experience. Transference, dreams, play, screen memories, and other subjects all become alive, and most of all, we come to know the inner experience of a gifted psychoanalyst, and to share his thrill of discovery.’
— Robert Michels, MD, Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University; Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; Former Joint Editor-in-Chief, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis

‘In this eminently readable work, Eugene Mahon brings classical psychoanalytic inquiry to life with a richness of evocative clinical reports marked by their vivid vitality and depth. Basic concepts are made new again, sensitively extended with incisive freshness as Mahon illustrates the subtle and mischievous deceptions by which desire and expression are ever disguised – whether in play, in dreams, in symptoms, in character, or evocatively in transference. Mahon, a guide of rare erudition, writes with ease and clarity, keeping the reader as a companion as he traces his engaging odyssey of psychoanalytic investigation.’
— Warren S. Poland, MD, former editor of the JAPA Review of Books; recipient of the 2009 Sigourney Award; and author of Melting the Darkness

‘Gently, but persuasively, Eugene Mahon takes us on an expedition of the psychic terrain that lies between reality and fantasy, between knowledge and experience, and between language and action. He offers us fresh conceptualizations of mourning, repression, transference, screen memory, insight, and, above all, play in its myriad expressive and therapeutic functions. We are informed and enriched.’
— Salman Akhtar, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College; Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

About the Author(s)

Eugene J. Mahon, MD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research and at the Contemporary Freudian Society. He is also a member of the Center for Advanced Psychoanalytic Studies, Princeton, New Jersey. He won The Alexander Beller Award of Columbia Psychoanalytic Institute in 1984, and has been on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, the Journal of The American Psychoanalytic Association and he is currently on the editorial board of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly. He practices Child Analysis and Adult Analysis in New York City.

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