An Apocryphal Dictionary of Psychoanalysis
Giuseppe Civitarese‘s An Apocryphal Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2019) is a book of transpositions, collecting together the author’s clinical vignettes, enigmatic objects, stray thoughts, projects, images, notes from readings, and musings; but also remarks on films and exhibitions, memories, episodes from daily life, summaries of papers to write, questions, doubts and obsessions—all of which have shaped the author’s understanding of psychoanalysis.
Born from moments in which the author has sensed a solution for problems encountered in daily practice or for obscure but exciting points of theory, the entries are ordered in an apocryphal manner, offering a personal and challenging view of psychoanalysis. Like small epiphanies in which there is always an emotion—be it that of amusement, astonishment, gratitude, sadness, joy—they express the style of the analyst and of the person in treating mental suffering and give a glimpse into the imaginary which nurtures it. Ideas for psychoanalysis are outlined where at center stage is the ability to wait, to be surprised; to operate from the place of the unconscious, which by definition is a place of negativity, and to exercise a form of soft skepticism—ultimately, a mode of hospitality.
Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.com and his website address is https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/228002.