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The Practice of Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theories and Principles


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The Practice of Lacanian Psychoanalysis lays out an Aristotelian framework to account for the different types of knowing and not-knowing operative in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.

The book proposes a new model for diagnosis, giving preference to fewer over more diagnoses, and seeks to better organize them by distinguishing between structure and surface symptoms. It examines many principles of Lacanian clinical practice, including different types of frames and evidence, the practice of citation and listening, the resistance and desire of the analyst, transference love as a metaphor, the role of negative transference at the end of analysis, and the identification with the sinthome as Lacan’s last formulation regarding the end of analysis. The text also proposes that there are three forms of love and hate based on the works of Lacan and Winnicott.

Underpinned by extensive practical knowledge of the clinic and case examples for clinicians, analysts, and practicing Lacanian analysts, this book should be of interest to academics, scholars, and clinicians alike.

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Psychoanalysing Ambivalence with Freud and Lacan


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“Covering everything from Aristotle to zombies to Breaking Bad, Carol Owens and Stephanie Swales have written a masterpiece unlocking the secrets of ambivalence. In Psychoanalyzing Ambivalence with Freud and Lacan, they demonstrate that ambivalence is perhaps the central category in social relations. The need for this book is especially urgent today, in an era characterized by its various ways of refusing ambivalence, which are, Owens and Swales make clear, ways of refusing the price of interacting with others altogether. Psychoanalyzing Ambivalence with Freud and Lacan speaks to the contemporary political catastrophe better than any book I’ve read.” –Todd McGowan, Professor, University of Vermont, USA

Taking a deep dive into contemporary Western culture, this book suggests we are all fundamentally ambivalent beings. A great deal has been written about how to love—to be kinder, more empathic, a better person, and so on. But trying to love without dealing with our ambivalence, with our hatred, is often a recipe for failure. Any attempt, therefore, to love our neighbour as ourselves—or even, for that matter, to love ourselves—must recognize that we love where we hate and we hate where we love.

Psychoanalysis, beginning with Freud, has claimed that to be in two minds about something or someone is characteristic of human subjectivity. Owens and Swales trace the concept of ambivalence through its various iterations in Freud and Lacan in order to question how the contemporary subject deals with its ambivalence. They argue that experiences of ambivalence are, in present-day cultural life, increasingly excised or foreclosed, and that this foreclosure has symptomatic effects at the individual as well as social levels. Owens and Swales examine ambivalence as it is at work in mourning, in matters of sexuality, in our enjoyment under neo-liberalism and capitalism. Above all, the authors consider how today’s ambivalent subject relates to the racially, religiously, culturally, or sexually different neighbour as a result of the current societal dictate of complete tolerance of the other. In this vein, Owens and Swales argue that ambivalence about one’s own jouissance is at the very roots of xenophobia.

Peppered with relevant and stimulating examples from clinical work, film, television, politics and everyday life, Psychoanalysing Ambivalence breathes new life into an old concept and will appeal to any reader, academic or clinician with an interest in psychoanalytic ideas.


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