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The Shadow of the Object


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Table of Contents

Preface to the 2017 Edition


I THE SHADOW OF THE OBJECT 1 The transformational object 2 The spirit of the object as the hand of fate 3 The self as object 4 At the other's play: to dream 5 The trisexual II MOODS 6 Moods and the conservative process 7 Loving hate 8 Normotic illness 9 Extractive introjection III COUNTERTRANSFERENCE 10 The liar 11 The psychoanalyst and the hysteric 12 Expressive uses of the countertransference 13 Self analysis and the countertransference 14 Ordinary regression to dependence IV EPILOGUE 15 The unthought known: early considerations

About the Author

Christopher Bollas is a Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytical Research.


"A member of the Independent Group of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, Christopher Bollas is a truly independent thinker. He finds his own way through the tribes of contemporary psychoanalysis, not as a follower, but as a single wanderer through the United States, England, and France mainly."-Andre Green

Reviews of The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known. ". . . a book of great individuality. It offers an original theoretical view and clinical stance on issues which face any analyst or psychotherapist. . . . All in all, a really valuable book."-Journal of the British Association of Psychotherapists, 1987, Columbia University Press/New York. "This is a unique and remarkable book..,.It is also one of the most interesting and important books on psychoanalysis...in the last decade. It is also a beautiful book."-International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1988. "A mind expanding experience..."-American Journal of Psychiatry, September 1988 "Clinically perceptive, and thought-provoking...exquisitely sensitive to affective nuances as clues to early, preoedipal events and their developmental consequences..."-The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1989 "For those familiar with the current as well as the classical theories of psychoanalysis, reading Christopher Bollas's volume can be a mind expanding experience...In a very forthright manner Bollas addresses complexities, how he thinks about them, how he gets his ideas, and at times how he works on an idea without knowing exactly what it is he is thinking-a very creative illustration of his work with patients as well as ideas".-American Journal of Psychiatry, September 1988 "There is much in this book that is wise, clinically perceptive, and thought-provoking. Bollas is clearly exquisitely sensitive to affective nuances as clues to early, preoedipal events and their developmental consequences...Bollas's book is a lucid, creative, balanced, and for the most part non-doctrinaire exposition. It deserves a respectful audience"-The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1989 "The most distinguishing features of this book are the author' expressive facility and the success with which he operates at the interface of theory and practice. Again and again throughout the book, Bollas manages to articulate complex problems and situations in ways that enhance understanding, especially when it comes to expressing in words the nonverbal or preverbal experiences Bollas refers to as `the unthought known'."-Psychoanalytic Books: Volume 1, No4, 1990. The Shadow of the Object and Forces of Destiny represent formidable original rethinking of major psychoanalytic ideas...That each chapter stands as a gem in itself reflects Bollas' way of working-that is, noticing something that piques his creativity and developing a paper about it...Regardless of your analytic orientation, you will enjoy Bollas's writing immensely, because it is so clinically provocative."-Psychologist Psychoanalyst , Fall, 1991.

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