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Being a Character: Psychoanalysis and Self Experience
Christopher Bollas

Being a Character: Psychoanalysis and Self Experience

(, Routledge, 2004)

'Being a character explores the subject of self-knowledge and the individuals' construction of meaning in their lives. It is always stimulating, particularly through the author's use of his own self-experience. This book is well worth reading by anyone involved in psychotherapy or related work. Indeed, it could fruitfully be read by a much wider audience.' - Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

'... enlightening, challenging and thought-provoking read ...' - British Jrnl of Psychiatry

'Here again is that man who is a psychoanalyst and does not write like a psychoanalyst; i.e. who miraculously avoids being boring, dogmatic, pedantic ...' - Andre Green, M.D.

'Being a Character will delight all those already aquainted with Christopher Bollas's earlier work and will open up new vistas for all those who would penetrate further into the unique quality and vital difference that distinguish one individual from another ... this book will be read by clinicians, theoreticians, and educated laymen with equal fascination and reward.' - Joyce McDougall

'It is a joy to read a book where one is happy to read a paragraph or a page over and over again because of the wealth of meaning that comes with each reading. Everyone who is interested in what happens in the space between and within people should read it.' - Counselling

Each person invests many of the objects in his life with his or her own unconscious meaning, each person subsequently voyages through an environment that constantly evokes the self's psychic history. Taking Freud's model of dreamwork as a model for all unconscious thinking, Christopher Bollas argues that we dreamwork ourselves into becoming who we are, and illustrates how the analyst and the patient use such unconscious processes to develop new psychic structures that the patient can use to alter his or her self experience. Building on this foundation, he goes on to describe some very special forms of self experience, including the tragic madness of women cutting themselves, the experience of a cruising homosexual in bars and bathes and the demented ferocity of the facist state of mind. An original interpreter of classical theory and clinical issues, in Being a Character Christopher Bollas takes the reader into the very texture of the psychoanalytic process.

Free Association (Ideas in Psychoanalysis)
Christopher Bollas

Free Association (Ideas in Psychoanalysis)

(London, Icon Books, 2002)

When Freud asked his patients to free associate he did something both simple and revolutionary: he asked people to think out loud.
Through this extraordinary manoeuvre, Freud transformed internal monologue into therapeutic dialogue. But in so doing he opened up a new discourse pursuing lines of thought that seemed to have nothing to do with the patient’s symptoms.

The psychoanalyst, too, was to let his thoughts wander freely in order to ‘catch the drift of the patient’s unconscious’. This meditative communication between two ‘dreamy’ participants constituted a radical new psychoanalytic method. What an odd way to uncover the sort of truths that generate psychological conflict! Yet this ‘Freudian Pair’ is arguably the most sophisticated form of unconscious thinking we possess and, as Christopher Bollas argues, has far more wide-ranging implications than we ever imagined.

The Mystery of Things
Christopher Bollas

The Mystery of Things

(London, New-York, Routledge, 1999)

Taking the reader right to the heart of psychotherapy, this text examines the mysterious aspects of the self that are revealed by analysis. The method of enquiry at the heart of psychoanalysis, that is, free association, runs contrary to everything that we are taught is the logical, rational, scientific way to acquire data. Yet it is only through using such an apparently illogical and subversive method that the pathological structures in thinking can be penetrated and the self underneath revealed and worked with by the analyst. Christopher Bollas focuses on the nature and effects of the free associative process. Using clinical studies, he highlights how aspects such as mental illness, and creative or artistic acts can reveal much about the self.

The Shadow of the Object
Christopher Bollas

The Shadow of the Object

(London, Free Association Books London, 1987)

When this book was first published in 1987 it was described by the reviewer for the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis as 'one of the most interesting and important new books which I have read in the past decade'. Now in its third printing, The Shadow of the Object integrates the unique contribution of the British school of object relations with the fine texture of the problems that have arisen in the author's own clinical practice.

All the chapters focus on the human subject's recording of his or her early experience of the object. This is 'the shadow of the object' as it falls on the ego, leaving some trace of its existance in the adult. The object can cast its shadow without a child being able to process this relation through mental representations or language, such as when a parent uses his child to contain projective identifications. As the object affects us, we do know something of its character, but we may not have thought it yet; this is 'the unthought known'. the work of a clinical psychoanalysis, particularly the discourse of object relations in the transference and countertransference, will partly be preoccupied with emergence into thought of early memories of being and relating.

Christopher Bollas is a mmeber of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, and is in the private practice of psychoanalysis in London.


Auteurs :
Karl Abraham
Christopher Bollas
Derek Bolton
Pierre-Henri Castel
Alain de Mijolla
Erik H. Erikson
W. R. D. Fairbairn
Sandor Ferenczi
Antoine Fratini
AndrAndré Green
André Green
Joel Kanter
Jean-Claude Lavie
Bernd Nitzschke
Adam Phillips
Neil Pickering
Luiz Eduardo Prado de Oliveira
Thierry Simonelli
Donald Winnicott


- Freud 1877-1900
- Sigmund Freud
- Gesammelte Werke
- Correspondance
- Karl Abraham

- Glossaire traduction