• Repair of the Soul: Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis
Karen E. Starr, Routledge, 2008
In Repair of the Soul, Karen E. Starr repositions one of the most essential psychological considerations: How do people change? In an effort to shed new light on this formidable question, she uses the metaphors of transformation of the Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition, as a vivid framework to illuminate the spiritual dimension of psychic change within the psychoanalytic process. By bringing the esoteric principles of the ancient Kabbalah into dialogue with contemporary psychoanalytic theory - in particular, the relational model - Starr examines the question of how one may achieve transformation that leads not only to insight but also to meaningful change.
"Writing with intelligence, passion, and a rigorously imaginative grasp of her two fields of discourse, she succeeds in delineating areas of vital conversation between them. Starr's book makes a valuable contribution to the contemporary awareness of issues of faith, of the ineffable other, and of the 'transcendent Third,' in analytical work." - Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, Ph.D., author, The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis
"Repair of the Soul marks a milestone in the ongoing and often troubled dialogue between psychoanalysis and religion. Her consideration of the roles of faith, interpretation, and multi-leveled truth in both traditions will open many doors for the therapeutic community. Thoughtful therapists should find both challenge and inspiration in this most interesting and truly barrier-breaking work."- Rabbi Arthur Green, Ph. D., Hebrew College
"An exciting interaction of sparks between psychoanalysis and Kabbalah, showing how fruitful it is when diverse dimensions of psyche and spirit meet." - Michael Eigen, Ph. D., author, Feeling Matters
• A Psychotherapy for the People: Toward a Progressive Psychoanalysis
Lewis Aron and Karen Starr, Routledge, 2013
How did psychoanalysis come to define itself as being different from psychotherapy? How have racism, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism converged in the creation of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis? Is psychoanalysis psychotherapy? Is psychoanalysis a "Jewish Science"?
Inspired by the progressive and humanistic origins of psychoanalysis, Lewis Aron and Karen Starr pursue Freud's call for psychoanalysis to be a "psychotherapy for the people." They present a cultural history focusing on how psychoanalysis has always defined itself in relation to an "other." At first, that other was hypnosis and suggestion; later it was psychotherapy. The authors trace a series of binary oppositions, each defined hierarchically, which have plagued the history of psychoanalysis. Tracing reverberations of racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia, they show that psychoanalysis, associated with phallic masculinity, penetration, heterosexuality, autonomy, and culture, was defined in opposition to suggestion and psychotherapy, which were seen as promoting dependence, feminine passivity, and relationality. Aron and Starr deconstruct these dichotomies, leading the way for a return to Freud's progressive vision, in which psychoanalysis, defined broadly and flexibly, is revitalized for a new era.
A Psychotherapy for the People will be of interest to psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists--and their patients--and to those studying feminism, cultural studies and Judaism
"Can psychoanalysis achieve the universality to which it lays claim? Only by giving it up, goes the dialectical argument of A Psychotherapy for the People: Toward a Progressive Psychoanalysis. Aron and Starr return psychoanalysis to its proper place on the cultural edge. They unveil the binaries – and behind them the hierarchies - that both power and weaken psychoanalysis. This anti-authoritarian book gives us good reason to hope that, by embracing its native complexity, psychoanalysis can realize its capacity to help, illuminate, and heal. Toward a heterodox psychoanalysis!" - Muriel Dimen PhD, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University
"When a book combines a profound understanding of psychoanalysis with a profound understanding of its historical and social context, that is a rare event indeed. When, in addition, it illuminates the still unrealized potentials of psychoanalysis to contribute to social progress, we have a truly landmark contribution. A Psychotherapy for the People should be required reading for anyone interested in psychoanalysis – or, for that matter, the human condition." - Paul L. Wachtel, CUNY Distinguished Professor, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Cente
"A Psychotherapy for the People is unique, unusually daring, intellectually adventurous and highly illuminating. Aron and Starr are guided by a humane and complex vision that encompasses the vulnerability and social trauma, the human failings and strengths that underlay a great intellectual achievement. They offer a sorely needed perspective on the binary oppositions and patriarchal biases that snagged so many psychoanalytic thinkers. This is a book that could well frame the central issues for everyone who hopes to preserve the talking cure, the dynamic therapy that can serve us all." - Jessica Benjamin, Clinical Professor, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis
• Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Integration: An Evolving Synthesis (Manuscript In Preparation)
Jill Bresler and Karen Starr, Editors