A Different Kind of Listening  


East Bay Book Shelf Best Seller List

From the publisher: “In her new book Kim Chernin takes us inside the mind of the psychoanalytic listener and her clients as few other writers have done. In an almost novelistic fashion she recalls her analyses with three very different analysts and how they shaped her analytic work with their distinctive personalities. It is a rare act of self-disclosure that her many readers will find moving and self-revelatory.’

The author writes: “In a Different Kind of Listening I am writing a story of all the other books I’ve written. The understanding of them and the need to write them was awakened by psychoanalysis in every case. My intention is to go deeper, to tell the story behind the stories, as if to reach the core story of the self.”


Buy in PaperbackBuy in Hardcover


“Chernin tells the story of a deeply engaged psychoanalytic journey. Her account falls somewhere between self-revelation and theoretical exegesis, clinical reflection and social commentary. In her radical critique of the authority psychoanalysis has claimed for itself, Chernin discovers not just her own voice but the voice of psychoanalysis itself, an essential psychoanalytic voice that has the power to infuse a life with wholeness and meaning. A moving, provocative and eminently readable book that raises crucial questions for those concerned with psychoanalysis and self-knowledge.”

– Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute

“The sheer power of Chernin’s intellect coupled with a vaguely spooky ability to completely divorce herself from herself, makes this analytic autobiography compelling…”

– L.A. Times

“Memories of twenty-five years on the couch make for a curiously compelling recounting of the rewards and shortcomings of psychoanalysis. Chernin…herself a psychoanalyst, dives into recollections of time spent with three analysts over a quarter of a century. Using traditional analytic tools–primarily association–she recalls to life the passionate young woman in Vienna who sought intellectual and sexual adventure; the fragmented, newly divorced young mother in California who found in her first analyst a target of devotion; the emerging adult, who found a life’s work and a credo of bisexuality with her second analyst, and the mature woman who broke with classical “interpretive” psychoanalysis through her third analyst. All of these rewarding…probes are tracked by a shadow self that has “descended, as if in a diving bell to uncharted regions.” It is…Chernin’s…ability to lead the reader into that “teeming, fecund inner world,” which rarely surfaced in the analysts’ offices, that make this book appealing. With the help of yet another analyst, who monitors her clinical work, she comes to believe that analysis is not the science of mining the psyche, but the art of story-telling.

– Kirkus Review