Lee Rather Ph.D. - Teaching


Upcoming Publications

Opera on the Couch
Music, Emotional Life, and Unconscious Aspects of Mind

Opera on the Couch Opera on the Couch is currently in press and will be available from Routledge in mid-2022. In addition to co-editing the volume, I have contributed a chapter entitled “Across the Great Divide: Reflections on the Moral Reversal in Mozart’s The Magic Flute”, as well as an introductory essay, co-written with Steven H. Goldberg, entitled “Psychoanalysis and Opera: A Felicitous Match”

The following is from the back cover:
In this widely ranging collection of essays, a group of contemporary psychoanalyst/authors turn their finely-honed listening skills and clinical experience to plumb the depths and illuminate themes of character, drama, myth, culture, and psychobiography in some of the world’s most beloved operas.

The richly diverse chapters are unified by a psychoanalytic approach to the nuances of unconscious mental life and emotional experience as they unfold synergistically in opera’s music, words, and drama. Opera creates a unique bridge between thought and feeling, mind and body, and conscious and unconscious that offers fertile ground for psychological exploration of profound human truths.

Each piece is written in a colorful and non-technical manner that will appeal to mental health professionals, musicians, academics, and general readers wishing better to understand and appreciate opera as an art form.

‘Goldberg and Rather have compiled an operatic and psychoanalytic treat for lovers of opera. Their imaginative and scholarly introduction demonstrates how much the two disciplines share in common. Every psychoanalytic session has something of an opera about it, and the music and drama of every opera tells a psychological tale. Readers will have their appreciation of both disciplines deepened and much enhanced’
Francis J. Grier
Training Analyst and Supervisor, British Psychoanalytic Society
Regional Editor (UK) & Editor-In-Chief Elect,
International Journal of Psychoanalysis
‘Opera lovers have long known that the most direct path to the psyche is via the complex interplay of extraordinary music and profound human experiences depicted in the great operas. Psychoanalytic thinkers have pondered the connection over many decades. It is a great delight to read this extraordinary new volume that so masterfully brings together heart and the mind. Therapists, music lovers, and historians will love it!’
Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine; Training and Supervising Analyst
Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, Houston, TX.
‘Like fairy tales or myths brought to life, opera touches deep levels of our understanding. This thoughtful collection of papers bringing opera and psychoanalysis together shows much about why this is so. While the themes of individual operas are illuminated by erudite psychoanalytic commentary, the understanding of the interplay of words and music in opera enhances a grasp of the interplay between verbal and non-verbal, conscious and unconscious in analysis. A pleasure to read.’
Lucy LaFarge, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
Editor in Chief, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly


2020 A life on the ramparts: Transience and the apprehension of beauty in Puccini's Tosca. fort da, Vol XXVI, Number 1, pp. 44-58.
2018 Transformations in the field of dreams: A discussion of Civitarese's 'Hallucinosis, Dreaming. and Play: The analytic field and its transformations'. fort da, Vol. XXIV, Number 2. pp 22-39.
2015 Reflections on James S. Grotstein: An intense beam of light. Fort Da, Vol XXI, Number 2, pp. 14-16.
2015 Building a Bion Container. In Teaching Bion: Modes and Approaches, pp. 49-56. (Meg Harris Williams, Ed). London: Karnac.
2015 Salvation through love: Reflections on Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. Vol. 28, No. 105, pp. 6-9, 22-23. Leitmotive: The Wagner Quarterly.
2014 Civilization and its discontents in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Verdi's Rigoletto. Fort Da, Vol XX, Number 2, pp. 50-64.
2012 Love and its subversions in Verdi's Otello and Aida. Fort Da, Vol. XVIII, Number 1, pp. 25-36.
2008 Reuniting the psychic couple in analytic training and practice: Theoretical reflections. Psychoanalytic Psychology. Vol. 25, Number I, pp. 99-109.
2002 The evolution of the capacity for observation: The role of primal scene phantasy. Fort Da. Vol. VIII, Number 1, pp. 18-28.
2001 Collaborating with the unconscious other: The analysand’s capacity for creative thinking. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 82, III, pp. 517-532.
2001 The therapeutic and working alliances revisited. Fort Da. Vol. VII, Number 1, pp. 27-40.
1991 Addiction, disease, and the self-help movement: Book review and commentary. San Francisco Psychologist.
1991 The self-defeating personality disorder. San Francisco Psychologist.