In my judgment, the authors have made a strong case for the proposition that the structure of a theorist's metapsychology will duplicate the structure of his subjective world, laid down mainly by the critical formative events of his life. It is a praiseworthy accomplishment. They have done much to clear the air of metapsychological clouds. They have shown new possibilities for psychoanalysis as a strictly clinical theory. All of these steps bring psychoanalytic thought closer to its observational base, closer also to the humanitarian impulse that underlies the helping professions. (Robert W. White, Ph.D. The Psychoanalytic Review
)Faces in a Cloud
shows more clearly than anything else I have read the futility of the factionalism that pervades the field of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. (Michael F. Basch, M.D. The Psychoanalytic Review
This is an important work, both for the psychology of personality and for psychoanalytic theory. The authors establish a broad, 'decentered' perspective . . . whose purpose is to integrate various theories of personality by acknowledging their inevitable subjectivity, and then using that subjectivity to demarcate the limits of each theory. They provide fascinating psychobiographical case studies of Freud, Jung, Reich, and Rank, in which they demonstrate the relation between the internal world of each author and the major preoccupations and motivational principles of each theory. They convincingly argue that the broad metapsychological abstractions in each theory are defensive or reparative reifications of the internal psychodynamics of each theorist. This book raises important issues and questions for readers at all levels. (Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D. Library Journal
From the Back Cover
In this new edition of their now classic work, George Atwood and Robert Stolorow explore the ways in which a theory of personality is influenced and colored by the subjective world of the theorist. Using psychobiographical analyses of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, and Otto Rank as illustrations, the authors show how the central constructs of personality theories universalize their creators' personal solutions to the nuclear crises and dilemmas of their own life histories. Illuminating the subjective origins of a personality theory does not invalidate the theory, according to Atwood and Stolorow, but rather contributes to establishing the scope of the theory as well as its applicability to particular clinical situations. The first edition of Faces in a Cloud (published in 1979) was the seminal work out of which emerged the now influential theory of intersubjectivity - a framework that calls for a radical revision of all aspects of psychoanalytic thought. This revised edition incorporates significant new material into the psychobiographical analyses and has been completely updated and rewritten to reflect the development of the authors' viewpoint. The terminology used throughout the book to describe personal worlds of experience has been updated and refined in consonance with this contemporary theoretical perspective. The final chapter summarizes key aspects of this new perspective and offers reflections on the subjective origins of intersubjectivity theory itself.
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