Psychoanalytic Practice Today offers the reader a good understanding of the school of thought inspired by the late work of Wilfred R. Bion. The contributors share a belief in the curative power of the analytic encounter and in the capacity of the human mind to develop from the encounter with a mind capable of reverie, dreaming and thinking. The multitude of vignettes presented emphasize the necessity of the emotional involvement of the analyst with their patients for improvement to take place.
The book is divided in two parts: `Psychopathology’ and `Emotions and Feelings’. The first part adapts a more classic description of psychiatric disorders by diagnostic criteria, from neuroses to psychoses and including depression and borderline states. The second part of the book takes a closer look at specific clinical manifestations of basic emotions such as anger, surprise, sadness and more complex ones such as jealousy, abandonment and betrayal. The common thread is represented by the central place of dreaming in the psychoanalytic field as a tool to understand these clinical manifestations, and to allow for their psychic representation as an emotional experience.
The contributions together offer a varied introduction to current ideas that are growing increasingly interesting to English speaking readers, with a sufficient character of originality, irreverence and creativity that bears witness to the maturity of Italian psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Practice Today will offer new ideas to the practicing psychoanalyst and psychodynamic psychotherapist.
Antonino Ferro is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, of which he is the President, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the International Psychoanalytical Association. He has been a visiting professor of psychoanalysis in various institutions in Europe, North America, South America and Australia. He received the Sigourney Award in 2007.