Heidegger and Contemporary Psychoanalysis

What can Heidegger give psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis give Heidegger?

Posted Jan 07, 2014

In this interview with New Books in Psychoanalysis, I explain the basic ideas in my book, World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011): http://newbooksinpsychoanalysis.com/2014/01/06/robert-stolorow-world-aff...

The aim of the book is to show how Heidegger's existential philosophy enriches contemporary psychoanalysis and how contemporary psychoanalysis enriches Heidegger's existential philosophy. It is intended as a contribution to both psychoanalysis and philosophy.

Intersubjective-systems theory, the name of my psychoanalytic perspective, is a phenomenological contextualism. It is phenomenological in that it investigates and illuminates worlds of emotional experience. It is contextual in that it holds that such organizations of emotional experience take form, both developmentally and in the psychoanalytic situation, in constitutive intersubjective or relational contexts. In the book I show that a psychoanalytic phenomenological contextualism finds philosophical grounding in Heidegger’s ontological contextualism (Being-in-the-world) and that the psychoanalytic understanding of emotional trauma is greatly enriched by an encounter with Heidegger’s elucidation of the structures of authentic existing--specifically, his account of authentic Being-toward-death and the Angst that discloses it. Intersubjective-systems theory gives an account of the relational contexts that make it possible for one to dwell in and bear the painful emotional experiences that are revelatory of authentic existing. Experiencing our kinship-in-finitude with one another, thereby finding a relational home or context of human understanding in which the traumatizing emotional impact of our finitude and the finitude of those we love can be held, brought into dialogue, and integrated, helps make authentic existential philosophizing possible. Intersubjective-systems theory illuminates the rich relationality of authentic existing.

About the Author

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., is one of the original members of the International Council for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, which stems from the work of Heinz Kohut.

More Posts