The Healer’s Bent

Over the course of a 50-year career, James T. McLaughlin has sought to open the playing field of psychoanalytic exploration by treating unconscious processes as the very material from which we fashion meaningful lives. His unique, iconoclastic perspective, which challenged the conventions of his time and professional milieu, not only engages the creative tension between the stance of the analyst and the stance of the healer, but also contains striking intimations of contemporary relational and interpersonal models of psychoanalytic treatment. The Healer’s Bent, which thematically integrates published and unpublished papers and contains three chapters of heretofore unpublished autobiographical reflection, bridges analytic practice and other psychotherapeutic modalities. It will make McLaughlin’s distinct approach to clinical theory and practice widely available to a broad and receptive readership.

Getting From Here to There: Analytic Love, Analytic Process

It is clinical work with the most difficult patients – those with severe narcissistic, sadomasochistic, and borderline disorders – that poses the greatest challenge to the therapist’s guiding assumptions about clinical process; indeed, such work often leads therapists to question beliefs and expectations that formerly seemed self-evident.  In Getting From Here to There: Analytic Love, Analytic Process, Sheldon Bach elaborates the holistic vision that guides him in work with just such patients.  He dwells especially on the “attentive presence” through which the analyst effects a “meeting” with patients that invites the latter’s trust in the analyst and in the therapeutic process. And he writes of love – of patient for analyst and of analyst for patient – that grows out of this mutual trust and sustains therapeutic process. For Bach, analytic therapy aims at understanding the person as a mind-body unity that manifests particular states of consciousness.


This holistic vision of treatment sustains a flexible clinical orientation that enables the analyst to “meet” states of consciousness in order to bring them into a system of which the analyst forms a part. Bach thoughtfully explores the clinical issues that enter into this taxing process, among them the establishment and maintenence of basic trust; the patient’s or the therapist’s presence in the other’s mind; and the shifts in agency between patient and therapist. And he describes at length the frequently exhausting, even demoralizing, transference-countertransference struggles that enter into this type of analytic work.


Throughout, Bach is guided by the conviction that work with extremely challenging patients promotes the psychological growth and increased self-knowledge of patient and analyst alike. And he is admirably clear that the “mutual living through” of such treatments nurtures a kind of love between patient and analyst.


Getting From Here to There not only records the clinical lessons learned by an unusually gifted analyst; it also chronicles the movement of psychoanalysis itself from the dissection of love into component parts to a synthetic grasp of its vital role in psychoanalytically informed treatment.

Theatre and the State in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Cultivating the People

This major new study presents a political and cultural history of some of Ireland’s key national theatre projects from the 1890s to the 1990s. Impressively wide-ranging in coverage, Theatre and the State in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Cultivating the People includes discussions on:
*the politics of the Irish literary movement at the Abbey Theatre before and after political independence;
*the role of a state-sponsored theatre for the post-1922 unionist government in Northern Ireland;
*the convulsive effects of the Northern Ireland conflict on Irish theatre.
Lionel Pilkington draws on a combination of archival research and critical readings of individual plays, covering works by J. M. Synge, Sean O’Casey, Lennox Robinson, T. C. Murray, George Shiels, Brian Friel, and Frank McGuinness. In its insistence on the details of history, this is a book important to anyone interested in Irish culture and politics in the twentieth century.

Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys

In Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys, Philip Bromberg continues the illuminating explorations into dissociation and clinical process begun in Standing in the Spaces (1998).  Bromberg is among our most gifted clinical writers, especially in his unique ability to record peripheral variations in relatedness – those subtle, split-second changes that capture the powerful workings of dissociation and chart the changing self-states that analyst and patient bring to the moment.
 
For Bromberg, a model of mind premised on the centrality of self-states and dissociation not only offers the optimal lens for comprehending and interpreting clinical data; it also provides maximum leverage for achieving true intersubjective relatedness. And this manner of looking at clinical data offers the best vantage point for integrating psychoanalytic experience with the burgeoning findings of contemporary neuroscience, cognitive and developmental psychology, and attachment research.
 
Dreams are approached not as texts in need of deciphering but as means of contacting genuine but not yet fully conscious self-states. From here, he explores how the patient’s “dreamer” and the analyst’s “dreamer” can come together to turn the “real” into the “really real” of mutative therapeutic dialogue. The “difficult,” frequently traumatized patient is newly appraised in terms of tensions within the therapeutic dyad.  And then there is the “haunted” patient who carries a sense of preordained doom through years of otherwise productive work – until the analyst can finally feel the patient’s doom as his or her own. 
 
Laced with Bromberg’s characteristic honesty, humor, and thoughtfulness, these essays elegantly attest to the mind’s reliance on dissociation, in both normal and pathological variants, in the ongoing effort to maintain self-organization.  Awakening the Dreamer, no less than Standing in the Spaces, is destined to become a permanent part of the literature on therapeutic process and change.

Shakespeare’s Feminine Endings

Philippa Berry draws on feminist theory, postmodern thought and queer theory, to challenge existing critical notions of what is fundamental to Shakespearean tragedy. She shows how, through a network of images clustered around feminine or feminized characters, these plays ‘disfigure’ conventional ideas of death as a bodily end, as their figures of women are interwoven with provocative meditations upon matter, time, the soul, and the body. The scope of these tragic speculations was radical in Shakespeare’s day; yet they also have a surprising relevance to contemporary debates about time and matter in science and philosophy.

Shakespeare’s Feminine Endings: Disfiguring Death in the Tragedies

Philippa Berry draws on feminist theory, postmodern thought and queer theory, to challenge existing critical notions of what is fundamental to Shakespearean tragedy. She shows how, through a network of images clustered around feminine or feminized characters, these plays ‘disfigure’ conventional ideas of death as a bodily end, as their figures of women are interwoven with provocative meditations upon matter, time, the soul, and the body. The scope of these tragic speculations was radical in Shakespeare’s day; yet they also have a surprising relevance to contemporary debates about time and matter in science and philosophy.

Symptom-Focused Dynamic Psychotherapy

Traditionally, psychoanalytically oriented clinicians have eschewed a direct focus on symptoms, viewing it as superficial turning away from underlying psychopathology. But this assumption is an artifact of a dated classical approach; it should be reexamined in the light of contemporary relational thinking. So argues Mary Connors in Symptom-Focused Dynamic Psychotherapy, an integrative project that describes cognitive-behavioral techniques that have been demonstrated to be empirically effective and may be productively assimilated into dynamic psychotherapy.

What is the warrant for symptom-focused interventions in psychodynamic treatment? Connors argues that the deleterious impact of symptoms on the patient’s physical and emotional well being often impedes psychodynamic engagement.  Symptoms associated with addictive disorders, eating disorders, OCD, and posttraumatic stress receive special attention. With patients suffering from these and other symptoms, Connors finds, specific cognitive-behavior techniques may relieve symptomatic distress and facilitate a psychodynamic treatment process, with its attentiveness to the therapeutic relationship and the analysis of transference-countertransference.

Connors’ model of integrative psychotherapy, which makes cognitive-behavioral techniques responsive to a comprehensive understanding of symptom etiology, offers a balanced perspective that attends to the relational embeddedness of symptoms without skirting the therapeutic obligation to alleviate symptomatic distress. In fact, Connors shows, active techniques of symptom management are frequently facilitative of treatment goals formulated in terms of relational psychoanalysis, self psychology, intersubjectivity theory, and  attachment research. A discerning effort to enrich psychodynamic treatment without subverting its conceptual ground, Symptom-Focused Dynamic Psychotherapy is a bracing antidote to the timeworn mindset that makes a virtue of symptomatic suffering.  

Talking with Doctors

Without any warning, in September 1999, David Newman was told he had a rare and life-threatening tumor in the base of his skull.  In the compressed space of five weeks, he consulted with leading physicians and surgeons at four major medical centers. The doctors offered drastically differing opinions; several pronounced the tumor inoperable and voiced skepticism about the effectiveness of any nonsurgical treatment. 


Talking with Doctors is the story of Newman’s efforts, at a time of great stress and even impending death, to wend his way through the dense thicket of medical consultations in search of a physician and a treatment that offered the possibility of survival.  It is the story, especially, of the harrowing process of assessing conflicting “expert” opinions and, in so doing, of making sense of the priorities, personalities, and vulnerabilities of different doctors.  All too often, he found, the leading specialists to whom he was sent were strangers in the consulting room-and strangers who became stranger still, both cognitively and emotionally, when ambiguous findings pushed them to the outer limits of their training and experience. Newman writes poignantly of his sense of powerlessness and desperation, of the painstaking means by which he ascertained what could be known about his tumor, and of the fortuitous events that finally led him to life-saving help.
 
Talking with Doctors is a compelling, absorbing, unsettling story that touches a collective raw nerve about the experience of doctors and medical care when life-threatening illness leads us to subspecialists at major medical centers. Probing the nature of medical authority and the grounds of a trusting doctor-patient relationship, Newman illuminates with grace and power what it now means for a patient to participate in life-and-death medical decisions.

Alzheimer’s Day Care: A Basic Guide

A book whose purpose is to offer guidance to individuals, organizations and agencies on how to develop day care programmes for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.


A range of programme aspects are covered from administrative details to social factors and evaluation techniques.

Studying Teachers’ Lives

To develop a mode of educational research which speaks both of and to the teacher we require more study of the lives of teachers. This book provides a vital insight into the ways in which teachers’ bakgrounds and career histories affect their teaching methods and approaches. Many issues are covered ranging from the question of teacher drop-out to the importance of teacher socialisation. The studies employ a range of different methodologies allowing the reader to assess their varying strengths and weaknesses, but throughout they reaffirm the centrality of the teacher in educational research.