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Have you ever wondered what a therapist really thinks? Have you ever wondered if a therapist truly cares about her patients? Have you tried to imagine the unimaginable, the loss of the person most dear to you? Is it true that `tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all? ` Love and loss are a ubiquitous part of life, bringing the greatest joys and the greatest heartaches. In one way or another all relationships end. People leave, move on, die. Loss is an ever-present part of life. In Love and Loss, Linda B. Sherby illustrates that in order to grow and thrive, we must learn to mourn, to move beyond the person we have lost while taking that person with us in our minds. Love, unlike loss, is not inevitable but, she argues, no satisfying life can be lived without deeply meaningful relationships. The focus of Love and Loss is how patients' and therapists' independent experiences of love and loss, as well as the love and loss that they experience in the treatment room, intermingle and interact. There are always two people in the consulting room, both of whom are involved in their own respective lives, as well as the mutually responsive relationship that exists between them. Love and loss in the life of one of the parties affects the other, whether that affect takes place on a conscious or unconscious level. Love and Loss is unique in two respects.The first is its focus on the analyst's current life situation and how that necessarily affects both the patient and the treatment. The second is Sherby's willingness to share the personal memoir of her own loss which she has interwoven with extensive clinical material to clearly illustrate the effect the analyst's current life circumstance has on the treatment. Writing as both a psychoanalyst and a widow, Linda B. Sherby makes it possible for the reader to gain an inside view of the emotional experience of being an analyst, making this book of interest to a wide audience. Professionals from psychoanalysts and psychotherapists and bereavement specialists through students in all the mental health fields to the public in general, will resonate and learn from this heartfelt and straightforward book.
The Consulting Room and Beyond is not a typical example of clinical writing in the field of psychoanalysis. Therese Ragen, pushing the boundaries of the genre, thoughtfully explores in a very immediate way the intersubjective nature of psychoanalysis, particularly looking at the role of the psychoanalyst’s subjectivity, both how it influences and is influenced by the psychoanalytic relationship. The profound ways in which analyst and patient affect each other are captured as the author moves from a moment with a patient, to one of her own memories, to a dream, to a professional consultation and back to the session with the patient. Ragen’s detailed descriptions of her subjective experiences and clinical skill help to weave the anecdotes into a compelling narrative, worthy of the attention of theorists, academics and clinicians alike.
Understanding and Treating Patients in Clinical Psychoanalysis: Lessons from Literature describes the problematic ways people learn to cope with life’s fundamental challenges, such as maintaining self-esteem, bearing loss, and growing old. People tend to deal with the challenges of being human in characteristic, repetitive ways. Descriptions of these patterns in diagnostic terms can be at best dry, and at worst confusing, especially for those starting training in any of the clinical disciplines. To try to appeal to a wider audience, this book illustrates each coping pattern using vivid, compelling fiction whose characters express their dilemmas in easily accessible, evocative language. Sandra Buechler uses these examples to show some of the ways we complicate our lives and, through reimagining different scenarios for these characters, she illustrates how clients can achieve greater emotional health and live their lives more productively. Drawing on the work of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Munro, Mann, James, O’Connor, Chopin, McCullers, Carver, and the many other authors represented here, Buechler shows how their keen observational short fiction portrays self-hurtful styles of living. She explores how human beings cope using schizoid, paranoid, grandiose, hysteric, obsessive, and other defensive styles. Each is costly, in many senses, and each limits the possibility for happiness and fulfillment. Understanding and Treating Patients in Clinical Psychoanalysis offers insights into what living with and working with problematic behaviors really means through a series of examples of the major personality disorders as portrayed in literature. Through these fictitious examples, clinicians and trainees, and undergraduate and graduate students can gain a greater understanding of how someone becomes paranoid, schizoid, narcissistic, obsessive, or depressive, and how that affects them, and those around them, including the mental health professionals who work with them.
Winner of the 2009 Gradiva Award for Outstanding Psychoanalytic Publication! Within the title of her book, Making a Difference in Patients' Lives, Sandra Buechler echoes the hope of all clinicians. But, she counters, experience soon convinces most of us that insight, on its own, is often not powerful enough to have a significant impact on how a life is actually lived. Many clinicians and therapists have turned toward emotional experience, within and outside the treatment setting, as a resource. How can the immense power of lived emotional experience be harnessed in the service of helping patients live richer, more satisfying lives? Most patients come into treatment because they are too anxious, or depressed, or don’t seem to feel alive enough. Something is wrong with what they feel, or don’t feel. Given that the emotions operate as a system, with the intensity of each affecting the level of all the others, it makes sense that it would be an emotional experience that would have enough power to change what we feel. But, ironically, the wider culture, and even psychoanalysts, seem to favor "solutions" that aim to mute emotionality, rather than relying on one emotion to modify another. We turn to pharmaceutical, cognitive, or behavioral change to make a difference in how life feels. Because we are afraid of emotional intensity, we cut off our most powerful source of regulation. In clear, jargon-free prose that utilizes both clinical vignettes and excerpts from poetry, art, and literature, Buechler explores how the power to feel can become the power to change. Through an active empathic engagement with the patient and an awareness of the healing potential inherent in each of our fundamental emotions, the clinician can make a substantial difference in the patient’s capacity to embrace life.
"Still practicing" has several meanings. Still practicing suggests that the balance of heartaches and joys must not deter us from pursuing a clinical practice. At the same time, still practicing suggests that for the clinician "practice" never "makes perfect." We continue to refine our clinical instruments over our entire working lives. Framed by her previous work on the concept of emotional balance, Sandra Buechler investigates how vicissitudes in a clinical career can have a profound and lasting impact on the clinician's emotional balance, and considers how the clinician's resilience is maintained in the face of the personal fallout of a lifetime of clinical practice. At each juncture, from training to early phases of clinical experience, through mid and late career, she asks, what can help us maintain a vital interest in our work? How do we not burn out? Aimed at the nexus of the personal and theoretical, Still Practicing concentrates on the sadness, feelings of shame, and satisfactions inherent in practice, and encourages newcomers and veterans alike to make career choices mindful of their potential long-term impact on their feelings about being therapists. It poses a question vital to the life of the clinician: How can we strike a balance between the work's inevitable pain and its potential joy?
None of us will escape the experience of personal loss, illness, aging, or mortality. Yet, psychoanalysis seems to shy away from a discussion of these core human experiences. Existential vulnerability is painful and we all avoid this awareness in different ways. However, when analysts fail to explore the topic of mortality, their own and their patients, they may foreclose an important exploration and short-change patient and therapist. Entering Night Country focuses on the existential condition, and explores how it penetrates professional lives, analytic work, and theoretical formulations. Each chapter explores this topic, shifting the lens from analytic process, to include theoretical assumptions, and professional communities. Stephanie Brody shows how the analytic process is a journey, no less profound than the epic journeys depicted in the classic literature of Homer and repeated in the patient’s own heroic and painful stories. Weaving literary references into the clinical experience of psychoanalysis, Brody reveals the transformative power of the analytic process for the patient and for the analyst. By relating the ancient past to our current struggles, psychoanalyst and patient together are guided to a destination, a life of meaning in the universe of possibilities. Clinical vignettes and personal reflections intersect with motifs from the epic poems and fantasy fiction, where the despair of loss and trauma do not extinguish the wish for change and the search for intimacy. Entering Night Country highlights the common themes that arise for patient and analyst as any person entering an unknown territory. It is intended for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, and mental health clinicians. It will also be accessible to those outside the clinical profession, even to individuals who have little understanding of psychoanalysis.
Honoring the centennial of Sigmund Freud’s seminal paper Mourning and Melancholia, New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning is a major contribution to our culture’s changing view of bereavement and mourning, identifying flaws in old models and offering a new, valid and effective approach. George Hagman and his fellow contributors bring together key psychoanalytic texts from the past 20 years, exploring contemporary research, clinical practice and model building relating to the problems of bereavement, mourning and grief. They propose changes to the asocial, intra-psychic nature of the standard analytic model of mourning, changes compatible with contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice. Arguing that the most important goal of mourning is often to preserve, rather than give up the relationship to the deceased, this book provides a more positive, hopeful model. Crucially, it emphasizes the importance of mourning together, rather than alone. New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning will be the go-to resource for researchers, clinicians and interested lay people seeking a clear, accessible overview of contemporary mourning theory, useful in their daily lives and in clinical practice. It will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, grief counsellors, as well teachers, undergraduates and advanced students studying in the field.

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