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The Metapsychology of Christopher Bollas: An Introduction explores Bollas’s extraordinarily wide contribution to contemporary psychoanalysis. The book aims to introduce and explain the fundamentals of Bollas’s theory of the mind in a systematic way, addressing many of the questions that commonly arise when people approach his work. Through chapters on topics such as the receptive subject, the creative unconscious and the implications of Bollas’s metapsychology for the technique of free association, the book enables the reader to acquire an understanding of his unique psychoanalytic language, to grasp the conceptual building blocks of his thinking and how these interrelate, and to appreciate the theoretical and clinical coherence of his thinking. The Metapsychology of Christopher Bollas: An Introduction will be of use to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and counsellors, as well as psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers wishing to explore the applications of psychoanalytic thinking to their practice. It will be of great value to trainees in these disciplines, as well as to postgraduate students and academics interested in contemporary psychoanalysis.
In The Evocative Object World Christopher Bollas builds on Freud's account of dream formation, combining it with perceptive clinical, theoretical and cultural insights to show how the psychoanalytical method can provide a rich understanding of what has traditionally been regarded as 'the outside world'. Moving from the fundamentals of the free associative technique, through an examination of how architecture and the built environment interact with individual and societal dream life, Bollas extends the work of psychoanalysis beyond relations with literature and culture to the actual objects which surround us. As with the evocative external structures of our environment, Bollas describes how the family, with its inherited genetic structures, likewise constitutes a pre-existent unconscious formation into which we are placed, and demonstrates that there is more to this multifaceted unit than the traditional psychoanalytical notion of the Oedipal triangle. In the process, Bollas also provides a fascinating and comprehensive review of how his own theories have evolved over the past three decades: a period during which, in his view, Western society has increasingly neglected – or even become actively hostile towards – unconscious life. Throughout this engaging and accessible text, Bollas rejects the simplistic notion that mental life is unconsciously determined. Instead he provides a compelling study of how unconscious life is shaped by a diverse array of both internal and external factors, and how the work of the Freudian pair provides the best means to gain insight into our dreams, our surroundings, our families – and our mental life as a whole.
In Being a Character , Christopher Bollas argued that Freud's vision of the dream process is a model for all unconscious mental experience. In Cracking Up he extends his exploration of the inner world of human experience and suggests that the rhythm of that experience is vital to individual creativity. It allows us to develop what the author calls a 'separate sense', which we use to assess the meanings of our own experiences and also to attune ourselves sympathetically to the lives of other people. In this original and thought-provoking book, Bollas examines how people educate one another in the idioms of their unconscious lives and considers the nature and consequences of the traumas that inhibit the freedom to do this. He studies what we mean by the past - is it unchangeable or can history be a creative, open understanding of experience? We come to know who we are by giving form and meaning to our past - yet what do we mean by the self? Bollas' answer suggests yet more ways in which the 'separate sense' expresses each person's unique qualities.
This reader brings together a selection of seminal papers by Christopher Bollas. Essays such as "The Fascist State of Mind," "The Structure of Evil," and "The Functions of History" have established his position as one of the most significant cultural critics of our time. Also included are examples of his psychoanalytical writings, such as "The Transformational Object" and "Psychic Genera," that deepen and renew interest in unconscious creative processes. Two recent essays, "Character and Interformality" and "The Wisdom of the Dream" extend his work on aesthetics and the role of form in everyday life. This is a collection of papers that will appeal to anyone interested in human experience and subjectivity.
`One of the most interesting theorists in contemporary psychoanalysis, Bollas emphasizes both the creativity of subjectivity itself and the key place of experience in the formation of psychical constructions and fantasy' - Anthony Elliott, Centre for Critical Theory, University of the West of England This eclectic collection of essays reflects the far-reaching, multi-dimensional influence of Christopher Bollas. Bollas galvanises our understanding of what happens when people encounter the objects - the endlessly variegated content - of external reality. Each of us has our own unique idiom through which we endow objects - a painting, a football, a stranger - with special meaning. Bollas has added depth to our understanding of these relationships with vitality rarely found in psychoanalytic writing. The contributors to this volume offer definitions and illustrations that make Bollas' thought accessible for those approaching his work for the first time and illuminating for those more familiar with his canon. The Vitality of Objects reveals the possibilities for self-expression and growth that figure in the process of object relations and shows how and why thinkers and artists from so many different perspectives are attracted to Bollas' thought.
Perfect for any student of the human brain, this historic text looks at the most pleasant human emotion, elation.

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