Michael Horne Professional Biography & Interests

I was lucky to be an undergraduate at the University of Sydney during the 60s when it was thought that works of literature were best studied as phenomena in their own right and not as authored products of history or culture. This stance allowed the text to speak for itself and so facilitated the emergence of the polysemic nature of the work as a whole. This reading method was the unwitting origin of the contextual rather than foundational approach that I now take towards understanding the ‘texts’ of my analysands.

In the inner city hospital in which I did my medical training I began to see the value of being simultaneously present to and outside of the dramas in which my patients and I were immersed. During my psychiatric training this gradually evolved into a rudimentary form of phenomenologically oriented psychotherapy.

When I came to Stanford University Medical School for post psychiatric residency training I was introduced to British Object Relations, to a more contemporary view of Freud than I had received in Medical School, and to Analytical Psychology. As I studied Jung’s work more closely I realized it was an object relations theory with the addition of the postulate of a largely unconscious change agent ‘the Self’. This phenomenon was to me ‘the second therapist in the room’, the manifestation of which has saved the day for me on many occasions.

I entered training at the San Francisco Jungian Institute full of confidence that I had found the ‘right’ analytic theory.  However, to my surprise I found that Analytical Psychology was riven by theoretically based schisms. Since my days in residency in Australia I had been reading and taking classes in phenomenology and other aspects of philosophy and I began to apply this point of view to analysis by making the heretical claim that philosophy was prior to psychoanalysis. This topic has subsequently become my main clinical and theoretical interest.

My priority now is to move more deeply into the over all work of the philosophers. Interestingly they are all dead and as of now there is no one to take their places. These philosophers are Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Georges Bataille and Jacques Derrida. During their lifetimes all of them eschewed the traditional approaches. Instead they worked in ways that were experience near in a variety of situations.

I now see my work as being related to the minutia of all things. This brings a whole new outlook to the most omnipresent concept the dyad deals with; that of reality. When I work with my co-workers in the dyad we see together that there are multiple realities that have become ossified and this is where the dyad does it’s work to open a space in which to wonder.




Selected Publications and Presentations

Horne, M. & Gallen, M., (1987). Anorexia nervosa: an object relations approach to primary treatment.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 192-194.

Horne, M., (1996). Typology as the path to integrity.
The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 15, 59-64.

Horne M., (1998). How does the Transcendent function?
The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 17, 23-42.

Horne M., Sowa A., Isenman D., (2000). Philosophical assumptions in Freud, Jung and Bion: questions of causality.
Journal of Analytical Psychology. 45, 109-121.

Horne M., (2002). Aristotle’s ontogenesis: a theory of individuation which integrates the classical and developmental perspectives
Journal of Analytical Psychology. 47, 613-628.

Horne M., (2003). Opening space in space: insights from infant observation.
Proceedings of the 15th International Congress for Analytical Psychology, 100-105.

Horne M., (2004). The universe of our concerns: The human as person in the praxis of analysis.
Journal of Analytical Psychology. 49, 33-48

Horne M., (2005). Elephants painting: the self in contemporary conceptual art.
Presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Horne M., (2007). There is no ‘truth’ outside a context: implications for the teaching of Analytical Psychology in the 21st century.
Journal of Analytical Psychology. 52, 127-142.

Horne M., (2008). Evil acts not evil people: their characteristics and contexts
Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53, 669–690.