Thinking for Clinicians: Philosophical Resources for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Humanistic Psychotherapies

Author(s) : Donna M. Orange

Thinking for Clinicians: Philosophical Resources for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Humanistic Psychotherapies

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : January 2009
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 160
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 28828
  • ISBN 13 : 9780881634938
  • ISBN 10 : 088163493X
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Whether they are supervisees entering analytic training or veteran analysts with twenty years of private practice, many capable psychoanalysts express frustration or doubt when trying to locate their work within the vast, sometimes intimidating realm of clinical theory. To that end, Thinking for Clinicians aims to provide analysts of all shapes and sizes with the tools and context for working critically within psychoanalytic theory and practice. It does this by familiarizing the reader not only with the philosophical backgrounds of the pioneers of psychoanalysis and other humanistic psychotherapies, but also through detailed chapters on some of the thinkers whose work is especially relevant for contemporary theoretical and clinical writing: Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Buber, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Historical background for their ideas is presented, and clinical vignettes within these chapters helps to contextualize their theory, further grounding it in real-world experience. With a hermeneutic sensibility firmly in mind, Thinking for Clinicians rewards as it challenges and will be a valuable reference for clinicians who seek a better understanding of the philosophical bases of contemporary psychoanalytic theory.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This is an immensely thoughtful, clear and illuminating book that convincingly demonstrates the usefulness of philosophy for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. It shows the hermeneutic sensibility shared by philosophy and psychotherapy and shows how the light shed by the former can transform the way we see the latter, and vice versa.'
- Simon Critchley, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Philosophy, New School for Social Research

'For nearly two decades, philosopher-psychoanalyst Donna Orange has been in the vanguard of those psychoanalytic thinkers who contend that the health and growth of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically-based psychotherapies depend on their being grounded in sound philosophical questioning. Thinking for Clinicians is the crowning achievement of her efforts so far, providing working clinicians with a wealth of philosophical ideas and tools for thinking about their therapeutic work and theories. In clear, clinician-friendly language, she brings her readers into conversation with five great philosophers - Buber, Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and Gadamer - whose philosophies bear a particular relevance to contemporary therapeutic practice, which is becoming increasingly and self-consciously phenomenological, dialogical, and humanistic. Any clinician who reads this wonderful book will, of necessity, become much more thoughtful about his or her clinical work. I recommend this volume with the utmost enthusiasm to all students, trainees, and practitioners of our calling.'
- Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., author, Trauma and Human Existence

'Donna Orange is well known for her ability to translate philosophical ideas into clinically useful perspectives. In this book, her exquisitely clear renderings of the lives and ideas of some of her philosophical mentors allow us to see for ourselves, and even draw us into befriending thinkers with whom we might ordinarily feel intimidated. Although a psychoanalyst, Orange has gone out of her way to point to her alignment with humanistic therapeutic traditions. I am certain my gestalt colleagues, who are influenced already by Buber and Merleau-Ponty, and who embrace a dialogic therapeutic stance, will find Orange's explorations quite congenial and will benefit from reading her ideas.'
- Lynne Jacobs, Ph.D., Co-founder, the Pacific Gestalt Institute

Table of Contents
Introduction: Psychotherapy in a Socratic Spirit. Martin Buber: The Dialogic We. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Nothing is Hidden. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Embodied Intersubjectivity. Emmanuel Levinas: Trauma in the Face of the Other. Hans-Georg Gadamer: Understanding the Situation with the Other. Afterword. Glossary

About the Author(s)

Donna M. Orange, Ph.D., Psy.D., is faculty and supervising analyst at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York, and a training and supervising analyst at the Instituto di Specializione in Psicologia Psicoanalitica de Se e Psicoanalisi, Rome. She has authored and coauthored several books, including Emotional Understanding (1995) and Worlds of Experience (2002).

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