Against Understanding Volume 2: Cases and Commentary in a Lacanian Key - Bruce Fink
Against Understanding, Volume 2 casts a spotlight on the status of case studies in psychoanalysis, which are commonly used to illustrate clinicians’ expertise and mastery rather than patients’ actual itineraries. When a case is presented, the complex, unwieldy, and often self-contradictory material of a therapeutic trajectory is often vastly oversimplified in view of producing a linear narrative that seems perfectly to fit the parameters of a practitioner’s preferred theoretical framework.
Bruce Fink attempts to eschew the appearance of "mastery" in assembling clinical material and in discussing his approach to practice and theory in the myriad case histories and vignettes included in both Volumes 1 & 2 of Against Understanding. To counterbalance the kind of paring down of material usually carried out to make cases conform to a particular paradigm, the case write-ups presented here include much of the "raw data" so often omitted: verbatim quotes from patients about their lives, backgrounds, dreams, and fantasies; and details about the many obscure, vacillating, and unruly phases of treatment. Fink hopes thereby to allow readers to form their own opinions about the well-foundedness or unsoundness of his formulations, interpretations, and interventions.