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Human Nature

: Winnicott Donald W.

Donald Winnicott’s ideas are scattered through numerous clinical papers and popular expositions. He made only one attempt to write an overview of his ideas, and this is it. As he says in the introduction, ‘I intend to make a statement of human nature which gathers together the various types of experience which have been mine. Read more…

Hypnotherapy: A Practical Handbook

: Karle, Hellmut W. A. Boys, Jennifer H.

Despite the increasing number of books on hypnotherapy, few, if any, provide the basic text required for the early stages of training in the use of such techniques. This book by Hellmut W. A Karle and  Jennifer H Boys, both meets the needs of beginners, and serves as a reference source for the more experienced. All the treatment programmes have been used and are fully illustrated with case studies. The approach is one of ‘How To Do It’ rather than a survey of history and current theories. Aimed at practitioners in a variety of professions – from medicine and surgery to analytic psychotherapy -the book will also interest anyone involved in non-physical methods of alleviating suffering and improving health. Read more…

An Introduction to Object Relations

: Gomez, Lavinia

Object Relations places relationships at the centre of what it is to be human. Its premise is that the human being is essentially social and that our need for others is primary. Object Relations originated as the British-based development of classic Freudian theory. Its early proponents were Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn, Donald Winnicott, Michael Balint, Harry Guntrip and John Bowlby. In this critical introduction to the subject, Lavinia Gomez presents the work of the main theorists chronologically, enabling the reader to gain a sense of how Object Relations develops and the ways in which the theorists build on, diverge from and oppose each other’s ideas. An understanding of concepts emerges gradually as similar phenomena are examined though the eyes of each theorist. A brief biography brings to life the persons behind the theory, contributing to a deeper understanding and critical appreciation of their ideas. The second part of the book addresses the application of Object Relations in the practice of counselling and Psychotherapy; the issue of integrating different approaches; and the challenges of working across social and cultural groups and with borderline and psychotic people. A final chapter examines the foundations of Object Relations. Though written with students of psychotherapy and counselling in mind, this lively and perceptive book will interest anyone wishing to explore this fascinating field. Its strengths lie in its comprehensive coverage, its openness to different theoretical orientations and critical awareness of Object Relations as a culturally specific system of thought. Read more…

Dying to Live

: Midgley, David

David Midgley’s autobiography describes the author’s own Life Script; from childhood failure and humiliation, to recovery, transactional analysis and a career in casework and counselling as a probation officer. Midgley writes about his training to be a psychotherapist, his experience of personal therapy, training workshops, and the trauma of deferment at a Final Exam Board before he eventually qualifies as a clinical transactional analyst. After his early retirement from the Probation Service the author describes how he established a successful private practice. Experiencing conflict between his humanist professional stance, the growing awareness that there is more to the remarkable pattern of his life than mere chance, finally precipitates a crisis and professional burnout. David Midgley’s richly varied life has taken him into military intelligence, probation and prison work, television and radio presenting, preaching and lecturing, counselling and psychotherapy and, finally – after motor neurone disease had robbed him of mobility and the ability to speak coherently – writing. Read more…

R.D. Laing: Contemporary Perspectives

: Raschid, Salman

Salman Raschid’s unique volume aims to re-establish R. D. Laing’s position, and reputation, as the major critic of orthodox, medically-based, psychiatry. Laing’s complex personality enabled powerful figures in the British psychiatric establishment to malign him when he was at the height of his fame, largely because Laing’s ideas, and public posture, posed a formidable threat to their medical authority. As critic as Peter Sedgwick had observed, Laing’s work was capable of considerable further development. He related mainstream psychiatry’s indebtedness to Laing to the fact that no rival approach possessed any dynamic or momentum of comparable power. Additionally Laing’s theories of schizophrenia had been powerfully aided “by the distinguished cultural and philosophical apparatus in which they reposed”. Subsequent events have proved Sedgwick right, and this book is a record of continuing developments (in theory and practice) of the main corpus of Laing’s work, and an adumbration of likely future developments. The disciplines involved cover, or implicate, such distinct areas of intellectual inquiry as psychiatry (including neurobiology), psychotherapy, philosophy and anthropology. Contributors include Luc Ciompi, Loren Mosher and Louis Sass The ongoing work inspired by Laing, represents a potent challenge to exclusively medically based psychiatry – fashionably described as ‘biological psychiatry’. This book aims to re-establish Laing’s work as a continuing source of inspiration for the development of a truly humanistic psychiatry and psychology, whilst providing the basis of a radical and profound critique, of conventional psychiatry, concluding that R. D. Laing’s is one of the major contributors to the theory and practice of psychiatry, worthy of being ranked alongside such other extraordinary pioneers as Emil Kraepelin, Henry Maudsley, Adolf Meyer and Harry Stack Sullivan. Read more…

Hearing Voices: Embodiment and Experience

: Blackman, Lisa

The hearing of voices is generally regarded as a pathological phenomenon – a form of mental illness. This title challenges the assumption in psychiatry and psychology that hearing voices has a pathological basis, and contains information from people who hear voices but who have found traditional clinical approaches unhelpful. Lisa Blackman also provides information on an alternative approach to hearing voices. Read more…

The Social Engagement of Social Science: The Socio-psychological Perspective v. 1: A Tavistock Anthology (Social Engagement of Social Science, a Tavistock Anthology)

: Trist, Eric; Murray, Hugh

This is a collection of classical writings on the wider relations of the human sciences – especially psychoanalysis and group relations. They are drawn from the work of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations which was set up in 1946 for the specific purpose of relating psychology and the social sciences to the needs and concerns of society. The Institute’s theories, projects and publications have gained international recognition and have led to innovations in social psychiatry, industrial relations, group relations and social science. This volume offers a comprehensive selection of these writings, bringing together for the first time key papers by all the most important figures associated with the Institute’s development and work. It includes papers by J. D. Sutherland, Eric Miller, John Bowlby, Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Isabel Menzies Lyth and D. W. Winnicott. Edited by Eric Trist and Hugh Murray. Read more…

I Had a Mummy Too

: Brunori, Patrizia Candolo, Gianna etc.

“…But a grenade blew her to bits I also had a brother But a grenade blew off his leg I wonder if one day my daddy will appear What’s the point of a dream If it doesn’t come true?” This poem was written by a Bosnian child to her mother. The child could have been Afghani, Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, because war injuries of the body and soul know no boundaries. In 1994, the war was in Bosnia, and this book is an account of how psychotherapists, from Bosnia and Italy, struggled with the psychological trauma in women who had suffered rape, torture, death of husbands and children, and loss of cultural identity. The text describes six years of clinical work and training by a small innovative group of psychotherapists who worked through cases of individual and collective suffering. The authors Patrizia Brunori,  Gianna Candolo and others describe the growth and development of their multidisciplinary intercultural group as it lived and worked in the extreme and unfamiliar environment of collapsing social and civil life, while under intense pressure to provide therapeutic aid. Read more…

R.D. Laing and Psychodynamic Psychiatry in 1950s Glasgow

: Hunter-Brown, Isobel

The author, Isobel Hunter-Brown, worked alongside R.D. Laing in Glasgow, seeks to put the record straight. From the contemporary perspective, Laing is admired as a pioneer of ideas and a charismatic and prominent anti-psychiatrist. Isobel Hunter-Brown reveals, however, that Laing’s view of sanity and insanity as a continuum and his opposition to high-dosage anti-psychotic medication already formed part of the Scottish psychiatric tradition. Hunter-Brown argues that the culture of the Glasgow units in which Laing worked early in his career had already been strongly influenced by the Scottish psychoanalyst, Fairbairn. Furthermore, for decades prior to this, their inspiration had traditionally been drawn from Adolph Meyer, who promoted a holistic view of his patients – exploring biological, psychological and social dimensions as part of their diagnosis – an approach that is widely believed to have originated with Laing. Psychiatrists seldom write about their profession, but this author describes the inner workings of psychiatric practice in Glasgow during the 1950s and the way in which some practitioners in that allegedly barbarous era were already using psychodynamic methods to help their patients. Read more…

On the Freud Watch: Public Memoirs

: Roazen, Paul

This is a collection of personal pieces. The Introduction deals with Paul Roazen’s experiences attending clinical case conferences at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in 1964-65, and what he learned about psychoanalytic psychology there. Chapter 1 makes a general statement about his outlook on why studying the past matters. Chapter 2 deals with a particular psychological explanation that his friend Charles Rycroft offered for why psychoanalysts are characteristically anti-historical. Chapter 3 discusses Roazen’s take on the problem of Freud’s analysis of his daughter Anna, a matter Roazen first brought to light in 1969. Chapter 4 deals with the rarely discussed question of training analyses. Chapter 5 contains Roazen’s efforts to deal with the way the founder of the Freud Archives, Kurt Eissler, launched attacks on his work. Chapter 6 tries to show how Roazen thinks Dickens’s “David Copperfield” can be an example of creative ablation in a great novelist’s life. Chapter 7 discusses O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey” from the contrasting viewpoints of Freud and Jung, both of whom can be said to have directly influenced O’Neill. Chapter 8 consists of some 26 letters to the editor that Roazen published, including the circumstances and objectives he had with each. Chapter 9 covers his take on the recently published Freud correspondences with both Ferenczi and Abraham. Chapter 10 is an over-view of Freud’s impact on political and social thought, embracing the traditions of socialism, conservatism, and liberalism. Chapter 11 includes Roazen’s use of psychological thinking in order to follow questions connection with Canadian political life as he experienced it. Chapter 13 deals with Roazen’s understanding of who has won and lost in the Freud Wars of this past century. And Chapter 14 concludes with a discussion of how he thinks Freud’s concept of neurosis was intended to convey his understanding of a specifically human privilege. The short epilogue closes with a personal account of the signifiance of a small beach in Roazen’s childhood. Paul Roazen, educated as a political theorist at Harvard, Chicago, and Oxford, has spent his career approaching psychoanalysis as an aspect of intellectual history. Issues of a moral and philosophic nature remain central to the tradition of thought that Freud initiated, and help account for the unfortunate sectarianism that has afflicted the field. Read more…