Elliot Jurist, “Minding Emotions: Cultivating Mentalization in Psychotherapy” (The Guilford Press, 2018)

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Elliot Jurist is one of the authors, along with Peter Fonagy, of a prominent book in psychological science called Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self, published in 2002. This book, Minding Emotions: Cultivating Mentalization in Psychotherapy (The Guilford Press, 2018), comes along 15 years later and “corrects” some aspects of the previous book as well as elaborates upon the emotional component of the mentalizing process. What does mentalization have to do with Psychoanalysis? A lot, if you agree with Dr. Jurist who argues that the prospects for psychoanalysis as a thriving discipline within the academic and clinical worlds is greatly enhanced by the conversations and research emerging from the mentalization paradigm.

Minding Emotions accomplishes many tasks, ranging from introducing the science of mentalization, discussing the place of emotions within mentalization studies, proposing the central value of concepts like “mentalizing affectivity” through “autobiographical memory,” analyzing the intersection between mentalization and contemporary psychoanalysis, and critiquing the neoliberal biases hidden within current forms of psychological discourse. The book will be useful and practical to therapists of all kinds, while raising intriguing questions for mature psychoanalytic thinkers about the essential and necessary aspects of the psychoanalytic endeavor.

Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.com.

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