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Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

ISBN: 978-0-470-01942-9
240 pages
May 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments (0470019425) cover image
Between Skins challenges individualistic accounts of the body in psychoanalysis. Drawing on philosophy, contemporary neurobiology and developmental research, Nicola Diamond explores the ways in which bodily processes and skin experience are inseparable from the field of language and environmental context.

  • The first book to address epistemological implications for a new understanding of the body and embodiment - offers a new perspective on the division between mind, body and world
  • Brings together a philosophical phenomenological account of body experience with key concepts from psychoanalysis, developmental research and neuroscience
  • Responds to a growing interest in the body and psychoanalysis, and considers some limitations in neuro-biological accounts of brain-body processes for psychoanalytical understanding
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Introduction 1

Part I The Framework: Neuroscience and Interdisciplinary Connections 11

1 Introducing Interdisciplinary Connections 13

2 Nurture/Nature 29

3 Bodily Expression and Language Relations 38

4 Setting the Scene: The Problem of the Binary Divide 51

Part II The Vital Order: Moving Away from Interiority and Biology as Bedrock 59

5 The Vital Order and the Biological Functions: Going Back to the Fundamental Problem 61

6 The Problem of Dualism and the Division between the Vital and the Psychic Order 74

7 The Vital Revisited: Deconstructing the Vital Order from Within 77

8 Rebuilding the Vital Field 90

9 Body Memory and Know-How 101

10 Attachment and Sexuality: Regulation versus Deregulation 109

Part III Exteriority: The Body Surface 119

11 The Skin: An Introduction 121

12 Didier Anzieu and The Skin Ego 137

13 Permeable Skin 147

14 The Emergence of Skin as a Support Matrix 154

15 Skin Narratives 162

16 Skin Relation 173

17 Skin Writing and Touch as Analogous to Language 179

18 Psychosomatics and Conversion: The Question of the Symbol 189

Conclusion: Have We Reached a Destination? 208

References and Further Reading 217

Index 226

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Dr Nicola Diamond is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London, and teaches at the Tavistock Clinic. She is also a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist with the British Association of Psychotherapists (British Psychoanalytic Council registered) in private practice, and runs a clinic at The Helen Bamber Foundation; before this she worked as a Psychotherapist at the Women's Therapy Centre in London. She is the co-author of Attachment and Intersubjectivity (with Mario Marrone, 2003) and has published widely in the field.

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“How successful Diamond is in “solving” the dilemmas she detects is an open question, but her questions and thinking are intelligent and searching, and this book will be good for teaching and dialogue in the field.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate, research, and professional collections.”  (Choice, 1 November 2013)

Nicola Diamond is both an academic and a clinician. She has a multi-disciplinary background in psychoanalysis, attachment theory, developmental psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and sociology. She is known for her original thinking and the way she challenges Cartesian dualism in psychoanalysis. In this book Nicola Diamond provides us with a refreshing approach to the body-mind-society relationship and its clinical implications, particularly in relation to interpersonal trauma and its bodily manifestations.—Mario Marrone, British Psychoanalytical Society and International Attachment Network

This is a book that offers an innovative model of the body which establishes a relation between soma and culture. It is a fascinating read -  not only helpful for a psychoanalytic context and the clinical field, but also for psychosocial studies scholars interested in body image and the processes of fantasy that shape our experience of the lived body in everyday life. The book raises important questions about how sensory lived body states and body image are profoundly influenced not only by relations with others, but also by the social field of visual imaging and popular culture.—Dr. Candida Yates, Reader in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London.

Nicola Diamond has always pioneered the integration of academic, clinical and theoretical issues and a book from her is long-awaited. "Between Skins" is an unusual and ambitious book linking the psychoanalytic, attachment theory, biological science and properly focusses on the multi-layered feelings of skin and body processes. Like Orbach and her concepts of the transitional body, Diamond's psychoanalytic strength also comes through.—Dr.Valerie Sinason M.Inst Psychoanal, Director for The Clinic for Dissociative Studies.

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