The Culture-Breast in Psychoanalysis

We are fed at the breast of culture, not wholly but to differing degrees. The Culture-Breast in Psychoanalysis: Cultural Experiences and the Clinic focuses on the formative influence of cultural objects in our lives, and the contribution such experiences make to our mental health and overall well-being.

The book introduces ‘the culture-breast’, a new clinical concept, to explore the central importance played by cultural objects in the psychical lives of patients and psychoanalytic clinical practitioners inside and outside the consulting room. Bringing together clinical writings from psychoanalysis and cultural objects from the applied fields of film, art, literature and music, the book also makes an argument for the usefulness of encounters with cultural objects as ‘non-clinical case studies’ in the training and further professional development of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. Through its engagement with psychosocial studies, this text, furthermore, interrogates, challenges and offers a way through a hierarchical split that has become established in psychoanalysis between ‘clinical psychoanalysis’ and ‘applied psychoanalysis’.

Combining approaches used in clinical, academic and arts settings, The Culture-Breast in Psychoanalysis is an essential resource for clinical practitioners of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, counselling, psychology and psychiatry. It will also be of interest to researchers and practitioners in the fields of psychosocial studies, sociology, social work, cultural studies and the creative and performing arts.

Table of Contents: Series Editors’ Preface; Foreword by R.D. Hinshelwood; Preface: A the breast of culture; 1. Thinking clinically with the psychosocial; 2. Encounters with cultural objects as case study; 3. The culture-breast; Afterword: Experience and the no-breast; References; Index.

Noreen Giffney MIFPP, MICP, MNIIHR, MUKCP, MCPJA is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, a psychosocial theorist and the director of the ‘Psychoanalysis +’ initiative. She lives in County Donegal and is a Lecturer in Counselling at Ulster University in Belfast.


‘A subtle, imaginative and brilliant work; The Culture-Breast in Psychoanalysis proposes an entirely new way of understanding the relationship between psychoanalysis and culture. It proposes that cultural experiences available through film, literature, music and the visual and performing arts can offer a frame, a space, and an encounter with an object, much like the “breast” in early infantile life, so that we can, in a psychoanalytic sense, “learn from experience”’. Lisa Baraitser, Professor of Psychosocial Theory, Birkbeck, University of London, and Psychoanalyst, M. Inst. Psychoanalysis.

‘It is an experiment in reaching between the heights of conceptualisations on the one hand, and the depth of personal experience on the other. It is this “reaching-between” that we need to accomplish in a much more everyday way, as these reflections portray. We must be as well as have our experiences’. From the Foreword by R.D. Hinshelwood, Psychoanalyst, and Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalysis, University of Essex.

Use the code FLR40 at the checkout to get 20% off the retail price