The Quiet Revolution in American Psychoanalysis: Selected Papers of Arnold M. Cooper

By Notman, Malkah T. | International Journal of Psychoanalysis, December 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Quiet Revolution in American Psychoanalysis: Selected Papers of Arnold M. Cooper


Notman, Malkah T., International Journal of Psychoanalysis


The quiet revolution in American psychoanalysis: Selected papers of Arnold M. Cooper Edited by Elizabeth L. Auchincloss New York: Routledge (New Library of Psychoanalysis series). 2005. 277 p. Reviewed by Malkah T. Notman, 54 Clark Rd. Brookline, MA 02445, USA - malkah_notman@hms.harvard.edu

Arnold Cooper has been a major contributor and supporter of the substantial changes in psychoanalysis by others in the past 25 years. He has also been instrumental in teaching and in encouraging new ideas. He has in some ways identified with the 'outsider', both in his personal history, and with the Columbia Psychoanalytic Institute as a splinter group originally created with an ideal of reforming psychoanalytic ideas. Although hardly an outsider in the current psychoanalytic scene, this perspective potentially offers him a basis for originality. He has advocated maintaining connections to the wider scientific and academic world, as well as the importance of research. He has been infl uential in integrating psychoanalytic concepts with psychiatry, in research, teaching and writing and has been active in international psychoanalysis.

This book brings together a number of papers in which Cooper proposes and develops his ideas. If there is a single thread, it is the author's openness to new ways of understanding psychoanalysis and taking a creative look at different theoretical concepts, terms and categories. Many of the ideas Cooper expressed have been subsequently studied and elaborated by others, so they have had a wide infl uence. He examines established ideas with a respectful but critical approach, assessing their current appropriateness, and puts all the debates he addresses and concepts he discusses into historical and theoretical context. The papers in this book were primarily published in the 1980s and early 1990s. Several notable ideas and formulations stand out. Cooper is among those currently questioning the validity and usefulness of the concept of 'transference neurosis'. He presents the novel idea that castration anxiety is a façade for deeper and earlier confl icts about passivity, and he develops and elaborates the concept of the narcissistic-masochistic character, arguing for the 'power of the weak' as a masochistic seduction of the powerful.

Cooper emphasizes throughout the importance of pre-oedipal issues as compared to the classical idea of the origin of neurosis in the oedipal phase, and he recognizes that one overarching theory may not be possible or necessary for different clinical realities. He advocates considering research and observations from related fields that have relevance for psychoanalysis. At the time most of these papers were written, there was a sense of excitement and expansion in psychoanalysis. One wonders whether they would have been different if they had been written in the current climate in which psychoanalysis is more embattled, even as new ideas and discoveries continue.

After an opening chapter, the book is divided into four sections: 'The quiet revolution;' 'Challenging the boundaries of psychoanalysis;' 'Vicissitudes of narcissism;' and 'The analyst at work.' Throughout, Cooper describes the changes in psychoanalysis in the last 25 years and calls for their recognition, particularly in the ways in which new ideas have changed the ways in which people actually think, while old terms and concepts remain. This is the 'quiet revolution' which goes on in the form of the changes and integration of new information and ideas.

The first section, begins with, 'Psychoanalytic inquiry and new knowledge' (1984b), in which Cooper discusses the effect of Kohut's introduction of self psychology into psychoanalysis and the excitement which this new thinking generated. He saw this interest and excitement as a refl ection of where psychoanalysis stood at that time. He elaborates the ways the concept of the self as a unifying idea can be understood and what it represents.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Quiet Revolution in American Psychoanalysis: Selected Papers of Arnold M. Cooper
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?