The Digital Age on the Couch: Psychoanalytic Practice and New Media by Alessandra Lemma (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
The Digital Age is on the couch. Working today, it is essential that clinicians understand the world we live in. The transition from an industrial economy to an information economy impacts not just the external structure of society and commerce, but also the internal psychic economies of our brains and, inevitably, how clinicians conceptualise the analytic setting in which they practice as therapists and analysts.
The Digital Age on the Couch seeks to understand more about how new technologies interact with the prerogatives of an individual's internal world, how they may alter psychic structure itself in fundamental ways and the implications this may have for the individual's functioning and for the operation of society. This book attempts, from the perspective of a working clinician, to make some sense of this. The impact of mediation via technology and the consequent disintermediation of the body represent central themes throughout, as they impact on the experience of embodiment, on the 'work of desire' and on the way new media influences psychoanalytic practice.
New media offer opportunities for increasing accessibility to mental health care, including psychoanalytic interventions. However, this requires a sophisticated understanding of how to best create and safeguard the analytic setting. Alessandra Lemma here guides the clinician through an exploration of the limitations and risks of mediated psychotherapy, illustrated with clinical examples throughout.
The Digital Age on the Couch offers an accessibly written guide to combining existing psychoanalytic theory and practice with the challenges presented by digital media. It will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and counsellors.