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This book contributes in an important way to the psychoanalytic understanding and impact of Assisted Reproductive Technology on a majority of patients who have difficulties starting new families. Recent advances in reproductive technology and the increased use of techniques based upon it have created a need for psychoanalytic thinking and understanding of the psychological implications of Assisted reproductive procedures, in-vitro fertilization and other similar procedures. The recent and rapid advances in medical technologies confront us with a mandate in our clinical work to understand their complex impact on women, men, and children. However, attention to the intra psychic conflicts and traumatic experience of the use of such techniques has not been addressed in psychoanalytic literature. The developmental trauma and intra psychic conflicts of individuals using reproductive technologies are ubiquitous, yet it has been neglected as a topic of special interest in our clinical work.
The Business of Being Made is the first book to critically analyze assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) from a transdisciplinary perspective integrating psychoanalytic and cultural theories. It is a ground-breaking collection exploring ARTs through diverse methods including interview research, clinical case studies, psychoanalytic based ethnography, and memoir. Gathering clinicians and researchers who specialize in this area, this book engages current research in psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and debates in feminist, queer and cultural theory about affect, temporality, and bodies. With psychoanalysis as its fulcrum, The Business of Being Made explores the social constructions and personal experiences of ARTs. Katie Gentile frames the cultural context, exploring the ways ARTs have become a complex form of playing with time, attempting to manufacture a hopeful future in the midst of growing global uncertainty. The contributors then present a range of varied experiences related to ARTs, including: Interviews with women and men undergoing ARTs; A psychoanalytic memoir of male infertility; Clinical research and work with transgender, gay and lesbian patients creating new Oedipal constellations, the experiences of LBGTQ people within the medical system and the variety of families that emerge; Research on the experiences of egg donors (now central to the business of ARTs) and a corresponding clinical case study of successful egg donation; The experiences of ongoing failure which is the often unacknowledged for ART procedures; How and when people choose to stop using ARTs; A psychoanalytic ethnography of a neonatal intensive care unit populated in part with the babies created through these technologies and their parents, haggard and in shock after years of failed attempts. Full of original material, The Business of Being Made conveys the ambivalence of these technologies without simplifying their complicated consequences for the bodies of individuals, the family, cultures, and our planet. This book will be relevant to clinicians, medical and psychological personnel working in assisted reproductive technologies and infertility, as well as academics working in the fields of sociology, literature, queer and feminist theories and at the intersections of cultural, critical and psychoanalytic theories.
A late-comer to psychoanalytic theorizing, 'shame' results from a disjunction between the ego and the ego-ideal. A complex psychosocial experience, it is comprised of a painful exposure of one's vulnerable aspects, rupture of self-continuity, and a sense of isolation. The figure-ground harmony of 'going-on-being' is disrupted and the individual feels alone and watched by others. Shame pushes for hiding and thus intensifies the experience of isolation.Seeking to advance clinicians' empathy and therapeutic skills in this realm, in this book ten distinguished analysts discuss shame from various perspectives. These include its developmental substrate, its vicissitudes during adolescence, and its manifestations in the course of aging and infirmity. The authors discuss shame from a cross-cultural viewpoint and note how shame-driven search for power and glory can turn malignant and societally destructive. They also address shamelessness, the link between shame and laziness, and the shame that underlies the inability to apologize. They devote attention to shame in the transference-countertransference axis and highlight the technical challenges in dealing with shame in clinical encounters.
Advances in assisted reproductive technology are producing a new world whose boundaries and implications have yet to be fully explored and understood. New advances are announced and hit the headlines with dizzying regularity, triggering the hopes and aspirations of some, and the fears of others. What is possible? What are the implications? What should be permissible? Who should decide?Medically assisted reproductive techniques were developed to treat sterility and infertility. However, in parallel this has created a demand for applications outside the fields for which these technologies were originally intended. This book explores the issues that surround medically assisted reproduction by addressing them from the perspective of four key areas: the mystery of procreation and the enigma of origin and where we come from; the question of difference and alterity in procreation (be it the breaking down of the notion that one comes from two in heterologous procreation to the aspirations for same-sex procreation, or the blurring of chronology and generations through cryoconservation); the place of destiny, including how to think about individual destinies in an age of increasingly accessible gene sequencing paired with a growing link between procreation and prediction; and an exploration of how clinicians and professionals can respond to the subjective experiences of those who resort to medically assisted reproduction, and the singularity of each person's response to the difficult and complex questions it raises.
Wedding up-to-date scientific information to an understanding of the emotional burdens and ethical dilemmas that inhere in reproductive medicine, Frozen Dreams: Psychodynamic Dimensions of Infertility and Assisted Reproduction provides an overview of the psychology of infertility patients and of the evaluative, administrative, and especially psychotherapeutic issues involved in helping them. The contributors to this volume, who include professionals from nationally prestigious reproductive programs as well as psychotherapists who evaluate and work clinically with infertility patients, explore the complex choices about life and death that are the daily experience of infertility specialists. In voices equally authoritative and intimate, psychotherapists and other health professionals explore the therapeutic process with patients and couples struggling with miscarriage, infertility, childlessness, the possibility of adoption, and the promise of assisted pregnancy. And the contributors are equally attentive to the range of issues that challenge physicians and nurses active in reproductive medicine, intent on providing practical information that will aid decision-making in this demanding area of practice. Written for a large audience of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, researchers, nurses, physicians, and general readers, Frozen Dreams is a fascinating introduction to the human face of reproductive medicine. Filled with intriguing and edifying case histories, it will appeal to all mental health professionals who work with adult patients through their childbearing years. For professionals who work inside the complex world of infertility treatment, Frozen Dreams will quickly become an essential text that is turned to repeatedly for information, guidance, reassurance, and revitalization.
This book is about the psychological experiences of women and men who have used donor conception to create their families. The authors offer diverse accounts of their clinical, research, and personal experiences. They describe the challenge of powerful conscious and unconscious fantasies that can be aroused and how these may reawaken early anxieties and developmental struggles.Whilst recipients of donated eggs or sperm may think they are simply acquiring a factor of reproduction, they are also receiving the genetic history of another family. The sensitive management of these relationships is considered in relation to establishing healthy and well-functioning families. The way these emotional challenges are negotiated is likely to be reflected in how parents talk with children about their donor origins.
The guiding thread of this theoretical review is the illumination of the impasses of binary thought and of the essentialist conceptions of women and the feminine. In this trajectory, the author's ongoing dialogue with Freud is connected with one aspect of his way of thinking: multicentred and complex. The text addresses questions relating to love, sexual desire, maternity, beauty and the passing of time and highlights current debates concerning women, the feminine, and sexual difference as well as some controversial topics that have been discussed throughout the history of the psychoanalytic movement.One of the most relevant subjects is the notion of 'feminine enigma' and the conceptions of the feminine as the negative of the masculine, which means going into the nature-nurture debate, as well as into considerations of the feminine seen as the other of the masculine. The author points out that the notion of 'feminine enigma' is a displacement of the enigmas inherent to the origins, to the finite time of life (the inevitability of death) and to sexual difference. The basic misunderstanding stemming from this enigmatic condition is an equation of the feminine to otherness.This text is the result of a line of work that the author has been developing for several years, based on her psychoanalytic training and practice as well as on her reading and interests relating to women and the feminine in other fields: philosophy, epistemology, anthropology and history. It is part of her interest in the modes of thought underlying conceptualizations on women in psychoanalysis. Advances in the relation between psychoanalysis and the feminine involve considering the complex relations around the question of sexual difference and the always problematic construction of sexual identity.

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