Being a Character: Psychoanalysis and Self Experience
Each person invests many of the objects in his life with his or her own unconscious meaning, each person subsequently voyages through an environment that constantly evokes the self’s psychic history. Taking Freud’s model of dreamwork as a model for all unconscious thinking, Christopher Bollas argues that we dreamwork ourselves into becoming who we are, and illustrates how the analyst and the patient use such unconscious processes to develop new psychic structures that the patient can use to alter his or her self experience. Building on this foundation, he goes on to describe some very special forms of self experience, including the tragic madness of women cutting themselves, the experience of a cruising homosexual in bars and bathes and the demented ferocity of the facist state of mind. An original interpreter of classical theory and clinical issues, in Being a Character Christopher Bollas takes the reader into the very texture of the psychoanalytic process.