Psychoanalysis Finds a Home

Emotional Phenomenology

Authored by: Robert D. Stolorow

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy

Print publication date:  November  2022
Online publication date:  November  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367276454
eBook ISBN: 9780429297076
Adobe ISBN:


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Since its early beginnings, psychoanalysis has searched for a disciplinary identity in which to situate itself. In this chapter, the author traces the evolution of his conception of psychoanalysis from his (with Atwood) early psychobiographical studies of the personal experiential origins of psychoanalytic theories to a vision of psychoanalysis as itself a form of phenomenological inquiry. Psychoanalysis investigates and illuminates the nature, origins, and therapeutic transformations of the organizing principles that prereflectively organize emotional experience. Recognizing the centrality of emotional experience contextualizes all of the clinical phenomena with which psychoanalysis has been concerned, including especially trauma and pathogenesis. The parts played by shattered metaphysical illusion and the absence of a relational context for holding emotional pain in the genesis of trauma are emphasized.

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