A Meeting of Minds
Mutuality in Psychoanalysis
By Lewis Aron
Routledge – 2001 – 304 pages
In this richly nuanced assessment of the various dimensions of mutuality in psychoanalysis, Aron shows that the relational approach to psychoanalysis is a powerful guide to issues of technique and therapeutic strategy. From his reappraisal of the concepts of interaction and enactment, to his examination of the issue of analyst self-disclosure, to his concluding remarks on the relational import of the analyst's ethics and values, Aron squarely accepts the clinical responsibilities attendant to a postmodern critique of psychoanalytic foundations.
"In this scholary and clearly written volume, Aron takes the reader on a guided tour of relational psychoanalysis and provides a thoughtful perspective on contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. I find his book to be a cutting-edge contribution to contemporar psychoanalytic discourse. It is one of the most absorbing and articulate statements of the current status of relational psychoanalysis to date."
- Glen O. Gabbard, Ph.D., Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
"Relational theory can be viewed as bridging the gaps among multiple domains: between classical Freudian drive and interpersonal theory on one hand, and between interpersonal and object realtions theory on the other. Lewis Aron charts this complex theoretical and historical landscape with skill and care. His interest in and attention to relationships serve him well. Distinctions and convergences among the various approaches and theorists are outlined with great clarity."
- John Deri, Ph.D., Psychoanalytic Books
"Although [Aron] has a clear point of view about most issues, this is also a work of comparative psychoanalysis. He has almost an insider's appreciation of virtually all points of view, and can be critical while maintaining respect. His writing is remarkably clear and free of jargon for a text so dense in the most evolved psychoanalytic ideas. This book is rich and illuminating, from the painting on the cover through the coda."
- Irwin Hirsch, Ph.D., Contemporary Psychoanalysis
"Combining a historically rigorous view of psychoanalytic theory with a sure grasp of the intricacies of practice, Aron makes a passionate and intelligent plea for the ineluctable openness of the psychoanalytic relationship and the knowledge we seek in it. I cannot imagine anyone seriously interested in psychoanalysis today who will not be challenged and enlightened by it."
- Jessican Benjamin, Ph.D., Author, The Bonds of Love
"This book is a breath of fresh air."
- Carol Martin, Ph.D., British Journal of Clinical Psychology
The Relational Orientation: An Introduction. Relational Theory and Its Boundaries: One- and Two-Person Psychologies. The Patient's Experience of the Analyst's Subjectivity. Interpretation as Expression of the Analyst's Subjectivity. Aspects of Mutuality in Clinical Psychoanalysis. The Dialectics of Mutuality and Autonomy: The Origins of Relational Theory in the Contributions of Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank. Enactment, Interaction, and Projective Identification: The Interpersonalization of Psychoanalysis. On Knowing and Being Known: Theoretical and Technical Considerations Regarding Self-Disclosure.