Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis
A Model for Theory and Practice
It has been said that we cannot not be in intersubjectivity. During the past decades, this fact has challenged the traditional psychoanalytic project. Various psychoanalytic schools have addressed the challenge in their own way, as does Dr. Lewis Kirshner in his new book Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: A Model for Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2017). He approaches the topic from the perspective of an academic with a strong background in phenomenology as well as psychoanalysis. The book relies upon an interdisciplinary perspective that appreciates how intersubjectivity is a broad concept inflected by infant research, neuroscience, semiotics, phenomenology, and not but not least, psychoanalysis. While this book should serve as a reference guide for any analyst writing about intersubjectivity because of its superb literature review, it is more than a theoretical essay. We get to see how a philosophical scholar makes sense of intersubjectivity for his own analytic practice. The book is interspersed with clinical material that shows the author thinking deeply about the processes at work in the analytic encounter. The author’s clinical material reflects a strong Lacanian preference and he stays away from a comprehensive comparison of how intersubjectivity gets played out in various schools, but he appreciates and converses with authors such as Winnicott, Modell, Bion, Benjamin, Aron, and many others.
Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at [email protected]