André Green

Illusions and Disillusions of Psychoanalysis Publication date : May 7, 2010

It is unusual for an analyst to take the time to seriously examine the difficulties or even the failures he has experienced with patients — particularly now when psychoanalysis is so often under attack for its alleged lack of therapeutic results. Yet, in this book, André Green reveals his reflections, the fruit of decades of psychoanalytic practice, much as Freud had done in his late text “Analysis Terminable and Interminable”. The questions Green asks here include: What could be the origins of failure? What is psychoanalytic language? What role does context play? What kinds of resistance are there? Where do crises come from?

Marilyn Monroe's death has often been blamed on the failure and incapacity of her analyst, Ralph Greenson. Taking this specific case as his starting point, André Green goes on to propose many fruitful theoretical indications on various key points in the analytical process and recounts some difficult analyses he has experienced with his patients.

• The reality of psychoanalytical work explained by one of the great French masters of psychoanalysis.

• A solid introduction to psychoanalysis in general as well as to the thought of André Green, who has written extensively on borderline cases, on negation, seduction and the affects.

• While describing theoretical and some more clinical developments, André Green gives us a privileged insight into own practice.

André Green, who was born in Cairo in 1927, began his career as a psychiatrist. In the 1950s, while an intern at Hôpital Sainte-Anne in Paris, he met Jacques Lacan and was influenced by his ideas. But his subsequent encounters with Donald Winnicott and Wilfred Bion gradually gave him a broader, more international approach to psychoanalysis. He was elected a member of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, but broke with Lacan in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he directed and helped to democratise the Paris Institute of Psychoanalysis.