From Obstacle to Ally explores the evolution of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis through an investigation of historical examples of clinical practice. Beginning with Freud's experience of the problem of transference, this book is shaped around a series of encounters in which psychoanalysts have managed effectively to negotiate such obstacles and on occasion, convert them into allies.
Judith Hughes succeeds in bringing alive the ideas, clinical struggles and evolving practices of some of the most influential psychoanalysts of the last century including Sandor Ferenczi, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Betty Joseph and Heinz Kohut. Through an examination of the specific obstacles posed by particular diagnostic categories, it becomes evident that it is often when treatment fails or encounters problems that major advances in psychoanalytic practice are prompted.
As well as providing an excellent introduction to the history of fundamental psychoanalytic concepts, From Obstacle to Ally offers an original approach to the study of the processes that have shaped psychoanalytic practice as we know it today and will fascinate practising psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.
Judith M. Hughes is a Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego and is on the Faculty of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute.