Author: Linda Hillman
The Voice of the Analyst contains personal narratives by twelve psychoanalysts, each taking the reader through his or her unique path toward developing a voice and identity as an analyst. All come from different backgrounds, theoretical orientations and stages of their careers. The narratives are courageous and uncommonly revealing in a profession that demands so much reserve and anonymity from its practitioners. This book demonstrates that the analyst’s work is a product of their characters as well as training and theory. The narrative form in this book offers a refreshing and necessary companion to the theoretical and clinical writing that dominates the field. The editors show the importance of developing a unique voice and identity if one is to function well as an analyst. This endeavor cannot be accomplished solely through technical training, especially with the isolation that characterizes clinical practice. There are pressures that analysts experience alone in their practice, from patients and themselves as well as other professionals, forces that render technical training and theory alone inadequate in facilitating the development of one’s analytic voice and identity. Enter the form of the personal narrative presented in this book. This fascinating compilation of narratives shows how the contributors bear striking similarities and differences to one another. Despite their different backgrounds, they display commonality in their sensitivity towards mental and emotional states and their wish to heal suffering. However, they also exemplify wide differences in motivations, interests and what makes them tick as psychoanalysts. The Voice of the Analyst will be a great companion book for established psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and those in training, as well as mental health professionals keen to understand what it takes to become a psychoanalyst and to enhance their personal and professional development.