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Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy have, in one way or another, focused on the amelioration of the negative. This has only done half the job; the other half being to actively bring Positive Experience into patients’ lives. Positive Psychoanalysis moves away from this traditional focus on negative experience and problems, and instead looks at what makes for a positive life experience, bringing a new clinical piece to what psychoanalysts do: Positive Psychoanalysis and the interdisciplinary theory and research behind it.
The envelope of functions entailed in Positive Psychoanalysis is an area of Being described as Subjective Well-Being. This book identifies three particular areas of function encompassed by SWB: Personal Meaning, Aesthetics, and Desire. Mark Leffert looks at the importance of these factors in our positive experiences in everyday life, and how they are manifested in clinical psychoanalytic work. These domains of Being form the basis of chapters, each comprising an interdisciplinary discussion integrating many strands of research and argument. Leffert discusses how the areas interact with each other and how they come to bear on the care, healing, and cure that are the usual subjects of psychoanalytic treatment. He also explores how they can be represented in contemporary psychoanalytic theory.