Opera on the Couch: Music, Emotional Life, and Unconscious Aspects of Mind

Author(s) : Steven H. Goldberg

Opera on the Couch: Music, Emotional Life, and Unconscious Aspects of Mind

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : June 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 224
  • Category :
    Culture and Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 96650
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032210773
  • ISBN 10 : 9781032210
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In this widely ranging collection of essays, a group of contemporary psychoanalyst/authors turn their finely-honed listening skills and clinical experience to plumb the depths and illuminate themes of character, drama, myth, culture, and psychobiography in some of the world’s most beloved operas.

The richly diverse chapters are unified by a psychoanalytic approach to the nuances of unconscious mental life and emotional experience as they unfold synergistically in opera’s music, words, and drama. Opera creates a unique bridge between thought and feeling, mind and body, and conscious and unconscious that offers fertile ground for psychological exploration of profound human truths.

Each piece is written in a colorful and non-technical manner that will appeal to mental health professionals, musicians, academics, and general readers wishing to better understand and appreciate opera as an art form.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Goldberg and Rather have compiled an operatic and psychoanalytic treat for lovers of opera. Their imaginative and scholarly introduction demonstrates how much the two disciplines share in common. Every psychoanalytic session has something of an opera about it, and the music and drama of every opera tells a psychological tale. Readers will have their appreciation of both disciplines deepened and much enhanced' - Francis J. Grier. Composer. Training Analyst and Supervisor, British Psychoanalytic Society. Regional Editor (UK) & Editor-In-Chief Elect, International Journal of Psychoanalysis

'Opera lovers have long known that the most direct path to the psyche is via the complex interplay of extraordinary music and profound human experiences depicted in the great operas. Psychoanalytic thinkers have pondered the connection over many decades. It is a great delight to read this extraordinary new volume that so masterfully brings together heart and the mind. Therapists, music lovers, and historians will love it!' - Glen O. Gabbard, M.D. Baylor College of Medicine; Training and Supervising Analyst. Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, Houston, TX.

'Like fairy tales or myths brought to life, opera touches deep levels of our understanding. This thoughtful collection of papers bringing opera and psychoanalysis together shows much about why this is so. While the themes of individual operas are illuminated by erudite psychoanalytic commentary, the understanding of the interplay of words and music in opera enhances a grasp of the interplay between verbal and non-verbal, conscious and unconscious in analysis. A pleasure to read.' - Lucy LaFarge, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College. Editor in Chief, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

About the Author(s)

Steven H. Goldberg, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University; a past president and fellow of the ISSTD and APA Division of Trauma Psychology; and a founding editor of the APA journal, Psychological Trauma.

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