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Psychoanalytic Listening


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Salman Akhtar, MD, was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. His more than 300 publications include nine books: Broken Structures; Quest for Answers; Inner Torment; Immigration and Identity; New Clinical Realms; Objects of Our Desire; Regarding Others; Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy; and The Damaged Core, as well as twenty-six edited or co-edited volumes in psychiatry and psychoanalysis and six collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.


'In this slim but remarkable volume, Salman Akhtar has recast psychoanalysis, the renowned "talking cure", as essentially a "listening cure". Like a virtuoso musician, he guides us to better discern the sounds and silences of the analytic hour. His book is replete with experience-near vignettes and contains numerous pearls of clinical wisdom. It is bound to become another classic in the Akhtar tradition!'- Ira Brenner, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia'It might seem a matter to be taken for granted; of course, analysts listen to their patients. Far from being so, listening analytically is an essential skill that may take the analyst years to learn and is a skill that would seem to be unteachable. Salman Akhtar has taken up the challenge and demonstrates, in this masterful volume, how complex and multifaceted is this seemingly simple act. He reveals with brilliant clarity the many modes in which the analyst may listen to his patient and listen to himself while with his patient, and he provides the student a theoretical and practical base from which to learn to listen "like an analyst".' - Herbert J. Schlessinger, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, New York

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