On psychoanalytic autobiography

Williams, Meg Harris (2012) On psychoanalytic autobiography. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups and Organisations, 18 (4). pp. 397-412. ISSN 1475-3626 (electronic) 1475-3634 (paper)

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Abstract/Book Review

This article considers how one might define ‘psychoanalytic autobiography’, using statements from theorists of ‘life-writing’ and extracts from autobiographers (some of them psychoanalysts), together with their own commentaries on the genre. The focus is less on content and more on the nature of the art form, with a view to noting analogies with the psychoanalytic process. These analogies are to be found, in particular, in the qualities of transference dialogue; in the art of transformative or communicative projective identification; and in the contrast between self-indulgent and constructive types of memory. Psychoanalytic autobiography is seen as a mode of remaking the self – not omnipotently but through exploratory self-analysis, frequently following the familiar pattern of loss and rediscovery. It entails a special imagined relationship with the unknown reader, and a sense of being guided by a detached observational eye equivalent to that which Bion terms the ‘third party’ in a psychoanalytic situation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 14 Sep 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autobiography, Psychoanalytic Process, Transference, Memory, Self Analysis, Self Observation
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Autobiography
Cognitive Processes, Theory of Mind > Arts - Applied Psychology
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalysis
Department/People: Honorary Staff
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2015 11:36
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/971

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