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Time, Self, and Psychoanalysis

William W. Meissner

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This book is a study of time, particularly of the nature of subjective time-that is, time as subjectively experienced and lived in contrast with time as measured objectively as, for example, by a clock. The argument first addresses the development of the time experience, its origins in infantile experience, and traces its variations and modifications during the course of the life cycle. As the life course advances, concerns about and preoccupations with death play an increasingly important role in attitudes toward and involvement in temporally related contexts. The next step is an examination of the phenomenology of time experience itself and its dependence on biorhythms and affective influences. An important aspect of this discussion is the relation between time experience as a conscious phenomenon and the functioning of unconscious determinants of the time experience. This leads to the question: given these conclusions regarding the nature of time experience, what implications can we draw for the understanding of the nature and functioning of the self within psychoanalysis? The book's final section applies these understandings to the analytic process, focusing particularly on the meaning of the time experience in the patient's psychic reality and patterns of enactment around issues of time and time management in the analytic situation. « less more »
Jason Aronson, Inc.
Pages: 298Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-0-7657-0498-6 • Hardback • March 2007 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7657-0499-3 • Paperback • March 2007 • $48.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4616-3214-6 • eBook • March 2007 • $45.00 • (£29.95)
William W. Meissner, M.D. was formerly clinical professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and is presently training and supervising analyst emeritus in the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East. Among his more recent books are The Ethical Dimension of Psychoanalysis and The Dynamics of Human Aggression (co-authored with A.-M. Rizzuto, M.D. and D, H. Buie, M.D.).
Chapter 1 The Meaning of Time
Chapter 2 The Subjective Sense of Time: Development
Chapter 3 The Subjective Sense of Time: Phenomenology
Chapter 4 Time in the Analytic Process
Chapter 5 The Lateness Phenomenon
Chapter 6 Chronic Lateness and Missing I: The Dilatory Doctor
Chapter 7 Chronic Lateness and Missing II: The Late Lawyer
Chapter 8 Chronic Lateness and Missing III: Sleeping Beauty
Chapter 9 Time and Termination
Chapter 10 Time and Technique
Chapter 11 The Self in Time
Chapter 12 The Self and Time in Analysis
Meissner offers the reader fascinating insights into the profound differences between subjective and objective time He heightens our awareness to the fact that our sense of time has a great deal to do with who we feel we are, have been, and will be. Detailed clinical material enriches the brilliance and wide-ranging scholarship we have come to expect from Meissner. The crucial relation between the patient's feelings about time and the resistance to growth and change are clearly elucidated. The reader will come away with a new appreciation of the importance of time in analysis, in life, in sense of self and in preparation for (or avoidance of) death. A rich, deep, and thought-provoking read.
Axel Hoffer M.D., Harvard Medical School


Dr. Meissner has produced a tour-de-force about the subject of time. This is a well-written and erudite work considering time from numerous perspectives, especially that of psychoanalysis-e.g., time in the patient's mind, time in the analyst's mind, and time in the analytic hour.
Ernest Hartmann, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Tufts University; author, Dreams and Nightmares (Perseus, 2001)


Meissner's work is a rich consideration of the role of time in various iterations in human psychology. Though focused on psychoanalysis, this book is relevant to many areas of clinical, counseling, social, and developmental psychology. Meissner is a prolific and original writer, as comfortable with philosophy as he is with psychology. His writing is poetic, reflective, and provocative. The reader is presented with a compendium of the various meanings of time. Meissner provides a comprehensive discussionof various philosophical positions on time as it has been seen through the ages. He references thinkers such as Aristotle, Derrida, Heidegger, Kant, Kristeva, Newton, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Ricouer, and Whitehead. Overall, Meissner's book is unique.As clinicians we are called on to work within constraints of time and place, while simultaneously considering the timelessness and placelessness of unconscious experience. Meissner's book is rich, even too rich with opportunity to dwell on, as well as todwell in time. Reading it is well worth your time.
PsycCRITIQUES


Through Meissner's writings, and particularly through his in-depth exploration of what he knows and discovered in his work and with his patients, psychoanalysts can reconsider problematic aspects of their own work while discovering new ways to think through the workings of time in the psychoanalytic process.
.; Psychoanlytic Books, Winter 2008


Meissner's rich and highly developed clinical cases bring to the forefront many classical psychoanalytic tenants...Meissner also provides the reader with extensive notes that further illuminate the points made in each chapter, perhaps in the hopes of raising as many questions as he answers in this highly informative text...
Annie Lee Jones Ph.D.


Meissner's work is a rich consideration of the role of time in various iterations in human psychology. Though focused on psychoanalysis, this book is relevant to many areas of clinical, counseling, social, and developmental psychology.Meissner is a prolific and original writer, as comfortable with philosophy as he is with psychology. His writing is poetic, reflective, and provocative. The reader is presented with a compendium of the various meanings of time. Meissner provides a comprehensive discussion of various philosophical positions on time as it has been seen through the ages. He references thinkerssuch as Aristotle, Derrida, Heidegger, Kant, Kristeva, Newton, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Ricouer, and Whitehead.Overall, Meissner's book is unique. As clinicians we are called on to work within constraints of time and place, while simultaneouslyconsidering the timelessness and placelessness of unconscious experience. Meissner's book is rich, even too rich with opportunity to dwell on, as well as to dwell in time.Reading it is well worth your time.
PsycCRITIQUES


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