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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 centerpiece of these collective chapters deal with psychic trauma of infertility, the compulsion to repeat through persistent repeated use of assisted reproductive technology, anxiety about motherhood, and finally the lives of children who are born and do not know from where they came.These poignant topics deal with family complexes and the Oedipal circle, repetition compulsion, trials and failures, anxiety related to motherhood, egg and sperm donors, parental identity formation, infertility, trauma, and discussion of a contemporary film depicting the challenging and newly defined family structure.
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.
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.
What is the role of the unconscious in our visceral approaches to cinema? Embodied Encounters offers a unique collection of essays written by leading thinkers and writers in film studies, with a guiding principle that embodied and material existence can, and perhaps ought to, also allow for the unconscious. The contributors embrace work which has brought ‘the body’ back into film theory and question why psychoanalysis has been excluded from more recent interrogations. The chapters included here engage with Jung and Freud, Lacan and Bion, and Klein and Winnicott in their interrogations of contemporary cinema and the moving image. In three parts the book presents examinations of both classic and contemporary films including Black Swan, Zero Dark Thirty and The Dybbuk: Part 1 – The Desire, the Body and the Unconscious Part 2 – Psychoanalytical Theories and the Cinema Part 3 – Reflections and Destructions, Mirrors and Transgressions Embodied Encounters is an eclectic volume which presents in one book the voices of those who work with different psychoanalytical paradigms. It will be essential reading for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, scholars and students of film and culture studies and film makers.
In France as elsewhere in recent years, legislative debates over single-parent households, same-sex unions, new reproductive technologies, transsexuality, and other challenges to long-held assumptions about the structure of family and kinship relations have been deeply divisive. What strikes many as uniquely French, however, is the extent to which many of these discussions-whether in legislative chambers, courtrooms, or the mass media-have been conducted in the frequently abstract vocabularies of anthropology and psychoanalysis. In this highly original book, Camille Robcis seeks to explain why and how academic discourses on kinship have intersected and overlapped with political debates on the family-and on the nature of French republicanism itself. She focuses on the theories of Claude Levi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan, both of whom highlighted the interdependence of the sexual and the social by positing a direct correlation between kinship and socialization. Robcis traces how their ideas gained recognition not only from French social scientists but also from legislators and politicians who relied on some of the most obscure and difficult concepts of structuralism to enact a series of laws concerning the family. Levi-Strauss and Lacan constructed the heterosexual family as a universal trope for social and psychic integration, and this understanding of the family at the root of intersubjectivity coincided with the role that the family has played in modern French law and public policy. The Law of Kinship contributes to larger conversations about the particularities of French political culture, the nature of sexual difference, and the problem of reading and interpretation in intellectual history.
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