Faces in a Cloud: Intersubjectivity in Personality Theory by George Atwood and Robert Stolorow

Faces in a Cloud looks at four major psychoanalytic theorists (Freud, Jung, Reich & Rank) in the light of their personal backgrounds. It starkly reminds us that we are never truly objective, and that the theories we come up with are informed by who we are and where we came from.

Or, the words of the authors: “A truly unifying theory of personality ought to be able to account not only for the phenomena that all other theories address, but also for these theories themselves. This is so because each of these constructions is a psychological product that embodies a pretheoretical subjective vision rooted in the theorist’s own development as a person.”

It’s worth a read if you’re studying psychotherapy, and the introduction and conclusion will be of interest to students of other disciplines as well. While I understood why they included the four case studies, I wish there had been more discussion beforehand and afterwards.

My favourite words in this book:



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