Jon Mills (psychologist)

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Jon Mills is a Canadian philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist. His principle theoretical contributions have been in the philosophy of the unconscious, a critique of psychoanalysis, philosophical psychology, value inquiry, and the philosophy of culture. His clinical contributions are in the areas of attachment pathology, trauma, psychosis, and psychic structure.

Academia and clinical credentials[edit]

Mills is Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto,[1] and runs a mental health corporation[2] in Ontario, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, his Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology-Chicago,[3] and was a Fulbright scholar in the Departments of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and York University.[4] He is a Diplomate, Fellow, and is board certified in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology,[5] and is a registered psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.[6]


Mills has been referred to as “an independent and serious thinker,”[7] "a focused and iconoclastic scholar,"[8] and "one of the most scholarly psychoanalytic thinkers of our time."[9] In 2008 he received a Significant Contribution to Canadian Psychology Award, won a Goethe Award[10][11] in 2013 for best book, and was the 2015 recipient of the Otto Weininger Memorial Award[12][13] for lifetime achievement from the Section on Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Psychology of the Canadian Psychological Association. In 2006, 2011, 2013, and 2018, Mills also won a Gradiva Award[14] for his scholarship given by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in New York City,[15] which has been in more categories than any other recipient in the history of the prize[16] including best article, book, and TV series, The Talking Cure.[17]

Philosophy of the Unconscious[edit]

In his books, The Unconscious Abyss and Origins, Mills develops a psychoanalytic metaphysics called “dialectical psychoanalysis” or “process psychology” based on neo-Hegelian principles, which places the unconscious at the heart of all psychic activity.[8] He argues that the mind is ontologically constituted through unconscious genesis, and that subjectivity is conditioned a priori by unconscious agency, which is responsible for all forms of mental life to transpire,[18] including higher modes of consciousness, contrary to contemporary views in the philosophy of mind that place causal primacy on consciousness.[19] Rather than demote the mind to biological reductionism, unconscious processes are conceived as a series of psychic spacings that instantiate themselves through a multitude of schemata, which are the building blocks of psychic reality.[7] He makes the controversial claim that unconscious semiotics condition and underlie the structure and function of language, subjectivity, and social dynamics.[20]

Critique of Psychoanalysis[edit]

Mills is one of the first psychoanalysts who is also a philosopher and critic of various theoretical schools in the history of the psychoanalytic movement, which is exemplified in his book, Underworlds.[21] Mills also offered the first sustained philosophical critique of contemporary psychoanalysis in his book, Conundrums, which examines and scrutinizes relational, intersubjective, and postmodern perspectives in the field.[22][23][24] He has been referred to as “the most important and profound spokesman to critique the relational psychoanalytic movement.”[25]  In 2015, an international conference was held in Israel on his work titled, The Relational Approach and its Critics: A Conference with Dr. Jon Mills, which was sponsored by the Israeli Forum of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the Department of Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies at Bar-Ilan University.[26] The conference proceedings were published in the journal, Psychoanalytic Perspectives.[27]

Books and reviews[edit]

  • Mills, Jon & David L. Downing (Eds.) (2018). Lacan on Psychosis: From Theory to Praxis. London: Routledge.
  • Downing, David L., & Jon Mills (Eds.) (2017). Outpatient Treatment of Psychosis: A Psycho-dynamic Approach to Evidence-Based Practice.  London: Karnac.
  • Merkur, Dan & Jon Mills (2017). Jung’s Ethics: Moral Psychology and his Cure of Souls. London: Routledge.
  • Mills, Jon (2017). Inventing God: Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality. London: Routledge.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]
  • Naso, Ronald C. & Jon Mills (Eds.) (2016). Ethics of Evil: Psychoanalytic Investigations. London: Karnac.
  • Naso, Ronald C. & Jon Mills (Eds.) (2016). Humanizing Evil: Psychoanalytic, Philosophical, & Clinical Perspectives. London: Routledge.[36]
  • Mills, Jon (2014). Underworlds: Philosophies of the Unconscious from Psychoanalysis to Metaphysics. London: Routledge[37][38][39][40][41][42]
  • Mills, Jon (2013). L'inconscient et son lieu. Genèse de la réalité psychique. Montreal: Éditions Liber[18][43]
  • Mills, Jon (2012). When God Wept (a novel). Washington, DC: The Humanist Press.[44][45][46]
  • Mills, Jon (2012). Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.[47][22][21][48][49][50][23][24][51]
  • Mills, Jon (2010). Origins: On the Genesis of Psychic Reality. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.[8][7][52][20]
  • Mills, Jon (Ed.) (2006). Other Banalities: Melanie Klein Revisited. London: Routledge.[53][54][55]
  • Mills, Jon. (2005). Treating Attachment Pathology. Lanham, MD: Aronson/Rowman & Littlefield.[56][57][58][59][60]
  • Mills, Jon (Ed.) (2005). Relational and Intersubjective Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: A Critique. Lanham, MD: Aronson/Rowman & Littlefield.[61][62]
  • Mills, Jon (Ed.) (2004). Psychoanalysis at the Limit: Epistemology, Mind, and the Question of Science'. Albany: SUNY Press.[63][64]
  • Mills, Jon (Ed.) (2004). Rereading Freud: Psychoanalysis through Philosophy. Albany: SUNY Press.[65][66][67][68]
  • Mills, Jon (2002). The Unconscious Abyss: Hegel's Anticipation of Psychoanalysis. Albany: SUNY Press.[69][70][71][72][73][74]
  • Mills, Jon, (Ed.) (2002). A Pedagogy of Becoming. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.[75]
  • Mills, Jon, (Ed.) (1999). The Human Aspect: Selected Works in Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism, and Existential Phenomenology. Long Beach, NY: Whittier.[76]
  • Mills, Jon & Janusz A. Polanowski (1997). The Ontology of Prejudice. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi.[77][78]


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  2. ^ "Mills Psychology Professional Corporation". Dr. Jon Mills.
  3. ^ "Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago".
  4. ^ "Curriculum Vitae JON MILLS, Psy.D., Ph.D., ABPP" (PDF).
  5. ^ "ABPP Directory".
  6. ^ "Search for Member, College of Psychologists of Ontario".
  7. ^ a b c Appelbaum, Jerome (December 2013). "Book Review". The American Journal of Psychoanalysis. 73 (4): 414–417. doi:10.1057/ajp.2013.32.
  8. ^ a b c Wheeler Vega, Jason A. (2012-01-01). "Book Reviews". The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. LXXXI (1): 221–232. doi:10.1002/j.2167-4086.2012.tb00491.x. ISSN 2167-4086.
  9. ^ Thompson, M. Guy. "M. Guy Thompson, Review of Conundrums". Taylor & Francis.
  10. ^ "Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Scholarship". Canadian Psychological Association.
  11. ^ "Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Scholarship (for the 2012 publication year)" (PDF). Canadian Psychological Association Section on Psychoanalytic & Psychodynamic Psychology. 2013-10-15.
  12. ^ "Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Psychology / Psychoanalytique et psychodynamique". CPA Section Related Programs. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Psychological Association. June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Jon Mills receives Weininger Award". International Psychoanalysis.
  14. ^ "2018 Gradiva Award Winners". National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. 2018.
  15. ^ "GRADIVA® AWARD WINNERS" (PDF). National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-05.
  16. ^ "Jon Mills Receives the Goethe and Gradiva Awards". International Psychoanalysis.
  17. ^ "Rogers TV Series, The Talking Cure".
  18. ^ a b Boisseuil, Anne (2014-08-30). "Jon Mills, L'inconscient et son lieu. Genèse de la réalité psychique". Lectures.
  19. ^ Mijuskovic, Ben (2018). Consciousness and Loneliness: Theoria and Praxis (Brill). Brill Rodopi. ISBN 9789004385979.
  20. ^ a b Jackson, Jeffrey M. (July 2014). "Review of Origins: On the Genesis of Psychic Reality". Psychoanalytic Psychology.
  21. ^ a b White, John R. (September 2013). "Book Review". Journal of Analytical Psychology. 58 (4): 554–556. doi:10.1111/1468-5922.12032_4.
  22. ^ a b de Villiers, Vivian. "Conundrums: a critique of contemporary psychoanalysis Book REVIEW". Contemporary Psychotherapy.
  23. ^ a b Greenstadt, William M. (2013-04-01). "Book Reviews". The Psychoanalytic Review. 100 (2): 373–388. doi:10.1521/prev.2013.100.2.373. ISSN 0033-2836.
  24. ^ a b Cohen, Mariam C. (2015-03-03). "Book Reviews". Psychodynamic Psychiatry. 43 (1): 137–178. doi:10.1521/pdps.2015.43.1.137.
  25. ^ Govrin, Aner (2017). "Introduction to The Relational Approach and its Critics: A Conference with Dr. Jon Mills. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 14: p. 309". Psychoanalytic Perspectives. 14 (3): 309–312. doi:10.1080/1551806x.2017.1342311.
  26. ^ "A Critique of the Postmodern Turn in Relational Psychonalysis - Dr. Jon Mills".
  27. ^ "Psychoanalytic Perspectives". Psychoanalytic Perspectives. 14. 2017.
  28. ^ Guido, Joseph J (2017). "Freud's illusion redivivus". PsycCRITIQUES. 62 (12).
  29. ^ Masson, Robert. "Book Review of Inventing God". Reading Religion.
  30. ^ Fuller, Robert C (2017). "Book review of Inventing God". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. 53 (4): 383–384. doi:10.1002/jhbs.21852.
  31. ^ Cohen, Mariam (2018). "Book Review of Inventing God: Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality". American Journal of Psychoanalysis. 78: 92–96. doi:10.1057/s11231-017-9121-6.
  32. ^ Crawford, Stephen (2018). "Book Review". British Journal of Psychotherapy. 34 (2): 322–324. doi:10.1111/bjp.12366.
  33. ^ Crispin, Jessa (2017-05-22). "Amnesiac Nation". The Baffler.
  34. ^ Crispin, Jessa. "Earthly Intervention". Bookslut.
  35. ^ Turner, Donald L. (Spring 2018). "Book Review of Inventing God". International Journal of Applied Philosophy. 32 (1): 127–130. doi:10.5840/ijap20184211.
  36. ^ Abramovitch, Henry (September 2016). "Book review of Humanizing Evil". Journal of Analytical Psychology. 61 (4): 515–517. doi:10.1111/1468-5922.12244_1.
  37. ^ "Toward a Psychoanalytic Theory of Truth". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17.
  38. ^ "Reviews: Underworlds". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17.
  39. ^ Naso, Ronald C. "Division/Review Issue 11 Winter 2015" (PDF). Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  40. ^ Stam, Henderikus J. (2015). "The never ending fascination: Philosophies and the unconscious". PsycCRITIQUES (Vol 60(16), 2015).
  41. ^ White, John (2015-11-01). "Book Reviews". Journal of Analytical Psychology. 60 (5): 721–725. doi:10.1111/1468-5922.12189_2. ISSN 1468-5922.
  42. ^ Gargiulo, Gerald (2015-06-16). "Books". The Psychoanalytic Review. 102 (3): 423–433. doi:10.1521/prev.2015.102.3.423.
  43. ^ "Inconscient et son lieu (L')". Éditions Liber. 2013-08-26.
  44. ^ Seltzer, Leon F. (2012-12-12). ""When God Wept": An Intriguing Fictional Hybrid". Evolution of the Self. Psychology Today.
  45. ^ "Prominent Psychologist Jon Mills Pens First Novel, When God Wept". American Humanist Association. 2012-09-28.
  46. ^ Seltzer, Leon F. (2013-04-19). "When God Wept".
  47. ^ Greenberg, Tamara McClintock (2012-03-13). "Conundrums: Approaches to Psychoanalysis Current Controversies in Psychoanalytic Psychology". 21st Century Aging. Psychology Today.
  48. ^ Rosenbaum, Philip J. (2013). "Returning to Modernity?". Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 49: 113–124. doi:10.1080/00107530.2013.10746536.
  49. ^ Greenberg, Tamara McClintock. "Review of: Conundrums: Approaches to psychoanalysis Current Controversies in Psychoanalytic Psychology by Jon Mills". International Psychoanalysis.
  50. ^ Ridenour, Jeremy (Summer 2012). "Conundrums: A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (Book Review)". DIVISION/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum (APA Div. 39 (Psychoanalysis).
  51. ^ Verbruggen, G (2012). "Een puzzel van hout?: Bespreking van: Jon Mills (2012). Conundrums — A critique of contemporary psychoanalysis". Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse. 18 (3): 230–231.
  52. ^ Lachs, John. "Origins: On the Genesis of Psychic Reality: Reviews". McGill-Queen's University Press.
  53. ^ Raubolt, Richard (Winter 2009). "Book Review". Psychologist-Psychoanalyst.
  54. ^ Rijdt, Lut De. "De ondraaglijke banaliteit van Klein". Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse.
  55. ^ "Reviews: Other Banalities". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17.
  56. ^ Olson, Trevor R.; MacGregor, Michael Wm. (May 2006). "Review of Treating Attachment Pathology". Canadian Psychology.
  57. ^ Daufenbach, Robert (June 2006). "Treating Attachment Pathology". Counseling Today.
  58. ^ Friedman, Henry J. (April 2007). "Treating Attachment Pathology. By Jon Mills. Oxford, United Kingdom: Jason Aronson, 2005. 366 pp". The Psychoanalytic Quarterly: 649–654.
  59. ^ Treating Attachment Pathology: Reviews. Jason Aronson, Inc. Rowman & Littlefield.
  60. ^ Haartman, Keith (2008-12-01). "Book Reviews". The Psychoanalytic Review. 95 (6): 1048–1050. doi:10.1521/prev.2008.95.6.1045. ISSN 0033-2836.
  61. ^ Steinberg, Paul Ian (August 2006). "Book Review". Canadian Psychology.
  62. ^ Reviews. Jason Aronson. Rowman & Littlefield.
  63. ^ Tarozzi Goldsmith, Marcella (Winter 2005). "Book Review". Psychologist-Psychoanalyst.
  64. ^ "Summary: Psychoanalysis at the Limit Epistemology, Mind, and the Question of Science". Excelsior Editions. SUNY Press.
  65. ^ Rothschild, Louis (Spring 2006). "Book Review" (PDF). Psychologist-Psychoanalyst.
  66. ^ Nissim-Sabat, Marilyn (2007). "Review". Psychoanalytic Quarterly: 1032–1040.
  67. ^ Chessick, Richard D. (2006). "Review". Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry: 383–385.
  68. ^ "Summary: Rereading Freud Psychoanalysis through Philosophy". Excelsior Editions. SUNY Press.
  69. ^ Sabat, Marilyn Nissim (Winter 2005). "Book Review". Psychologist-Psychoanalyst.
  70. ^ Frie, Roger (October 2006). "Beyond the Dialectic Recognition: A review of The Unconscious Abyss: Hegel's Anticipation of Psychoanalysis, by Jon Mills, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2003" (PDF). Contemporary Psychoanalysis.
  71. ^ Remley, William L.; Ver Eecke, Wilfried (June 2007). "Review". The Review of Metaphysics.
  72. ^ Letteri, Mark (Summer 2005). "Book Review". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. 41 (3): 292–293. doi:10.1002/jhbs.20084.
  73. ^ Hewitt, Marsha Aileen (2008). "Book Review". The Psychoanalytic Review: 673–678.
  74. ^ "Summary and Reviews". Excelsior Editions. SUNY Press.
  75. ^ CHOICE Review: A Pedagogy of Becoming (Value Inquiry Book Series 116) (Value Inquiry Book, 116). Rodopi Bv Editions. 2002. ISBN 978-9042015074.
  76. ^ Mills, Jon (1999). The Human Aspect: Selected Works in Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism, and Existential Phenomenology. Whittier. ISBN 9781576040935.
  77. ^ Mills, Jon; Polanowksi, Janusz. "The Ontology of Prejudice". Value Inquiry Book Series 58. Rodopi. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29.
  78. ^ Byran Crable (2000). Book Review: The Thought of Prejudice and the Prejudice of Thought. Human Studies, 23: 317-323.

External links[edit]