READING ITALIAN PSYCHOANALYSIS

I’m very pleased to share with you that the book Reading Italian Psychoanalysis has just been published by Routledge, edited by Franco Borgogno, Alberto Luchetti and me.

– Jay Greenberg, Ph.D. Editor of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly wrote about the book.

Until recently psychoanalysis in Italy has evolved in relative isolation from other communities. With the publication of this volume, Anglophone analysts have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the wide range of perspectives that contribute to what has become an unusually vibrant and creative tradition. Guided by introductions that masterfully illuminate both historical and clinical developments, the reader becomes immersed in ideas that are original and stimulating. This book is essential for analysts interested in learning more about what is happening in Italy, and also for anybody who wishes to enrich their own conceptual and clinical thinking.

Psychoanalysis in Italy is a particularly diverse and vibrant profession, embracing a number of influences and schools of thought, connecting together new thinking, and producing theorists and clinicians of global renown. Reading Italian Psychoanalysis provides a comprehensive guide to the most important Italian psychoanalytic thinking of recent years, including work by major names such as Weiss, E.Gaddini, Matte Blanco, Nissim Momigliano, Canestri, Amati Mehler, and Ferro and Bolognini. It covers the most important theoretical developments and clinical advances, with special emphasis on contemporary topics such as transference, trauma and primitive states of mind where Italian work has been particular influential.
In this volume, Franco Borgogno, Alberto Luchetti and Luisa Marino Coe of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society provide an overview of how Italian psychoanalysis has developed from the 1920’s to the present day, tracing its early influences and highlighting contemporary developments. Forty-six seminal and representative papers of psychoanalysts belonging to the two Italian psychoanalytical societies (the Italian Psychoanalytical Society and the Italian Association of Psychoanalysis) have been chosen to illuminate what is special about Italian theoretical and clinical thinking, and what is demonstrative of the specificity of its psychoanalytic discourse. The selected papers are preceded by a first introductory section about the history of psychoanalysis in Italy and followed by a “swift glance at Italian psychoanalysis from abroad”. They are grouped into sections which represent the areas particularly explored by Italian psychoanalysis. Each section is accompanied by introductory comments which summarize the main ideas and concepts and also their historical and cultural background, so as to offer to the reader either an orientation and stimulus for the debate and to indicate their connections to other papers included in the present volume and to the international psychoanalytic world.

The book is divided into six parts including:

  1. History of psychoanalysis in Italy
  2. Metapsychology
  3. Clinical practice, theory of technique, therapeutic factors
  4. The person of the analyst, countertransference and the analytic relationship/field
  5. Trauma, psychic pain, mourning and working-through
  6. Preverbal, precocious, fusional, primitive states of the mind

This volume offers an excellent and detailed “fresco” of Italian psychoanalytic debate, shining a light on thinking that has evolved differently in France, England, North and Latin America. It is an ideal book for beginners and advanced students of clinical theory as well as experienced psychoanalysts wanting to know more about Italian psychoanalytic theory and technique, and how they have developed.

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