For the psychoanalyst, there exist certain rare and special moments when emotion, imagination and thought combine to enable both patient and analyst to reach a profound understanding of what is happening between them. Such subjective, relational and clinical experiences are perhaps as rare as they are unforgettable. Over the past twenty years, Stefano Bolognini has concerned himself with empathy, one of the most significant yet hotly debated and difficult to define concepts in the recent history of psychoanalysis. In this book, the author traces the philosophical origins of empathy and its development, with Freud and the first psychoanalysts, up to its "rediscovery" in the 1950s, in parallel with changing views on countertransference. Dr. Bolognini then offers his observations which take us to the very heart of psychoanalysis, maintaining all the fecundity of the issues discussed while illustrating the real complexity of the empathic experience, the privileged transformative goal of the relationship between patient and analyst. All in all, this is an original and valuable contribution to psychoanalytic theory.
Publication Date: 5/1/2004