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Objects of Hope: Exploring Possibility and Limit in Psychoanalysis (Relational Perspectives Book Series) Hardcover – August 1, 2000

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Steven Cooper's Objects of Hope is at once an exhilarating tour de force of comparative psychoanalytic theorizing and a lucid and highly nuanced account of the clinical implications of contemporary Freudian, British object relations, and American relational perspectives.  Rich with extended clinical accounts that come alive in Cooper's vivid and engaging style, this book bears witness to each patient's struggle to create new meaning and experience out of the stultifying repetitiveness of past traumas.  Both the exciting potentials and the frustrating difficulties of psychoanalytic work are explored with forthrightness and painful honesty.  Although Objects of Hope will be stimulating and edifying for clinicians at all levels of experience, Cooper's clarity and incisiveness as a writer and thinker will make this book an invaluable teaching tool for generations of new students."

- Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D., Co-Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues

"Hope, an essential but usually neglected aspect of analytic theory and process, is the topic of this highly original volume by Steven Cooper (no relation). Through the lens of hope, he develops new perspectives on the broad range of technical and theoretical differences among contemporary psychoanalysts. Many detailed clinical examples and a refreshingly candid writing style speak directly to the daily vicissitudes of analytic practice. Most of us are likely to revise some of our analytic ideas and modify some of our techniques after reading this book."

- Arnold Cooper, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Weill Medical College, Cornell

"Cooper's comparative-theory approach to the topic of hope and limitation is interesting and refreshing to anyone frustrated with the fierce fragmentation and insularity of the contemporary psychoanalytic scene.  His approach also draws out some aspects of the topic in a more comprehensive way than is possible by looking at hope and limitation through the lens of a single perspective alone...a fruitful and much needed inquiry into how beliefs and values inevitably influence, and even saturate, our clincal and theoretical work."

- Jennifer McCarroll, JAPA

"This is a book that should appeal to all dynamically oriented therapists in its scholarly exposition of American relational theory and its comparison to other theories.  It can also be recommended to training institutions and will offer to the established therapist though-provoking questions abot his or her own theoretical orientation."

- Thomas Lynch, M.D., Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"[A] rich and nuanced account of how hope enters into psychoanalytic work for both patient and analyst...Cooper's nuanced account of differences among the psychoanalytic schools upon which he draws - contemporary Freudian, Britich object relations, and American relational psychoanalysis - highlights how each leading contemporary explanation of therapeutic action implicitly conveys somewhat differing hope for the patient."

- Ernest Wallwork, Religious Studies Review

About the Author

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D., is a training and supervising analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, a faculty member and supervising analyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School.  The author of numerous psychoanalytic papers, Dr. Cooper has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.  He is in private practice in Cambridge, MA.

Product Details

  • Series: Relational Perspectives Book Series (Book 18)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881632716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881632712
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,127,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Objects of Hope offers a clearly written, insightful exploration of one of the most pressing issues in contemporary psychoanalysis: how the analyst's subjectivity informs the treatment of every analysand. While many in the field have argued that we must attend to the irreducible subjectivity of the analyst if we are to understand how the psychoanalytic process succeeds and fails, few offer historicized and specific ways of thinking about how the analyst's subjectivity operates at particular moments in the analytic process. Cooper narrates his own experiences in analytic sessions to show how he learns from his patients even as they gain understanding of themselves through their interactions with him. But he also offers a view of the place of the analyst's subjectivity in the history of psychoanalysis: from Freud to Fairbairn to Loewald to Winnicott, and beyond. Best of all, Cooper tells a good story, a story that is situated in several theoretical traditions at once without getting bogged down in jargon. A deceptively easy read, this book will be enormously useful to practitioners in the field as well as to those who desire an introduction to the most provocative thinking in psychoanalysis today.
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Format: Hardcover
Cooper writes as he thinks, in a manner that urges the reader to think hard, and to be honest about his or her work, while also inviting openness and playfulness. One has the sense from this book that it is possible to be a good therapist and analyst, yet to also be a human being. Makes you want to be a therapist, or even to be in therapy.
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