Psychoanalytic Collisions Second Edition wrestles with a theme that confronts every psychotherapist: the gap between illusions and realities about the professional self. Joyce Slochower closely examines situations in which the therapist’s professional and personal wishes collide with the actuality of everyday clinical work. The book unpacks the dynamics of these collisions on both beginning and seasoned therapists, offering ways of sustaining a professional ideal while also exploring the mixed impact of that ideal on clinical work. In examining how illusions and ideals affect the therapeutic encounter for both better and worse, Psychoanalytic Collisions invites the reader into the consulting room.
This Second Edition has been substantially revised. It includes updated clinical and theoretical material as well as a new chapter about mutual idealizations that coalesce between patient and analyst. Slochower argues that psychoanalytic collisions can be productively engaged, even if they often cannot be fully resolved.The very act of engagement—whether by establishing new grounds for collaboration in the wake of real-world catastrophe, wrestling with clinical impasses that arise from the divergent expectations of analyst and patient, or owning up to and addressing the analyst’s "secret delinquencies"—reveals how therapeutic hopefulness can coexist with an acceptance of the analyst’s all-too-human fallibility.
Psychoanalytic Collisions shows how idealization is intrinsic both to forging an analytic identity and practicing across a lifetime. Slochower’s work challenges readers to confront their own vulnerabilities and limits while also embracing a professional ideal that is at once human and inspiring. The book is an essential resource for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, pastoral counselors, and readers interested in the practice of psychotherapy today.