In The Psychoanalytic Encounter and the Misuse of Theory (Routledge, 2022), Lee Grossman addresses the disjuncture between analytic literature and clinical work in an effort to render analytic theorizing more representative of clinical experience.
Pointing out the ways in which analytic literature can fail to capture the intensity of feeling and the stumbling, lurching, working in the dark that captures much of clinical engagement, Grossman shows how incomprehensibility is sometimes mistaken for wisdom. As an alternative, Grossman shows how attention to what he calls the syntax of thought can naturally define three different broad categories of life experience: the omnipotence of the neurotic, the wishful, short-sighted thinking of the perverse, and the concrete, disordered thinking of the psychotic. Using rich clinical material, interspersed with detailed exposition and artful satire, Grossman departs from conventional theoretical writing to provide new ways of conceptualizing analytic therapy.
Addressing analytic therapy as an encounter between two people, both governed by forces about which they know very little, this book provides essential insights for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and other clinical practitioners both in training and in practice.
Jacob Goldberg is an incoming Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Duquesne University. He can be reached at email@example.com.