The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

by Otto F. Kernberg
     
 

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Otto Kernberg is a towering figure in the field of psychoanalysis and has accomplished seminal work in object relations and the treatment of borderline and narcissistic patients. This volume collects his recent work in several areas: severe personality disorders, couples in conflict, and religious experience. In each area, he explores the relationship between the

Overview

Otto Kernberg is a towering figure in the field of psychoanalysis and has accomplished seminal work in object relations and the treatment of borderline and narcissistic patients. This volume collects his recent work in several areas: severe personality disorders, couples in conflict, and religious experience. In each area, he explores the relationship between the psychoanalytic, clinical psychiatric, and neurobiological approaches, yielding insights and analysis that are compelling, thought-provoking, and at times startling in their penetrating brilliance. In addition, the book addresses the challenges that psychoanalysis faces in the current medical environment, and the need to strengthen its ties with academic institutions.

Beautifully written, the book is designed to both provoke questions and provide enlightenment on a variety of critical issues within psychotherapy. Specifically, the volume: • Explores new approaches to diagnosis and new psychotherapeutic techniques to treat the most severe personality disorders, particularly severe narcissistic psychopathology, based on new research findings;• Relates psychoanalytic theory to neurobiological findings by illuminating the influences of neurobiological structures and intrapsychic conflicts on the development of the personality;• Examines the psychoanalytic and neurobiological underpinnings of sexual love, from the organization of brain structures and neurotransmitters to the overall systems of erotic activation, attachment and bonding. This systematic approach provides insight into the nature of passionate love and the psychodynamic features of the love relationship; • Addresses psychodynamic factors in the religious experience and the search for universal ethical values, and explores the crucial function of religious experience in dealing with the ideological challenges of social life; and• Identifies the serious problems facing psychoanalytic education, institutions, and the profession of psychoanalysis, and proposes solutions to energize the field and increase its contributions to scientific research and progress.

In The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives, Kernberg demonstrates his belief that the collaboration of psychoanalysis and neurobiology has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of the human mind. The full spectrum of mental health clinicians, as well as educated general readers, will find this to be a work of creativity and substance.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D.(Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This book details the author's latest work on severe personality disorders, couples in conflict, psychoanalytic research, and the neurobiological underpinnings of affect and behavior.
Purpose: The title refers to Freud's twin drives of libido and death and what contemporary research can teach us about them.
Audience: It is intended for anyone interested in the field of psychoanalysis. It is sufficiently complex that readers should have at least some prior knowledge in the fields of psychoanalysis and neurobiology.
Features: The book begins with the exploration of new diagnostic and treatment methods for severe personality disorders and more specifically that of severe narcissistic personality disorder. Concepts of identity, transference-focused psychotherapy, and managing countertransference are discussed in part one. The second section examines the drive theory through the lens of modern neurobiology and affect theory. Of particular note are the chapters on the death drive and mourning. Part three looks at sexual love from both a psychodynamic and biologic perspective. The fourth part relates the author's perspective on the problems facing psychoanalysis as a whole, and the last part addresses the psychodynamic factors involved in the religious experience.
Assessment: This author's work is always fascinating and thought-provoking. Not everyone in the field of psychoanalysis may agree with him, but this book is well worth the time to read, especially for those who treat patients with severe personality disorders. I particularly enjoyed his efforts at bringing together neurobiology, affect theory, and psychoanalytic thought. I would have liked to see more detail on this topic, but that is a book in and of itself. The spiritual chapter at the end of the book seems like an afterthought, but otherwise this is an excellent addition to Dr. Kernberg's lexicon and I strongly recommend it.
Gregory Mavrides

Kernberg's The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives could more accurately be titled 'The Very Best of Otto F. Kernberg.' It will be thoroughly enjoyed and valued as an outstanding clinical and theoretical textbook by any experienced clinician and academician who recognizes the conceptual value of the unconscious and is already familiar with the basic tenets of psychodynamic and object relations theory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585629763
Publisher:
American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/24/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
420
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Otto Kernberg, M.D., is Director of the Personality Disorders Institute, Professor of Psychiatry, and DeWitt Wallace Senior Scholar at the Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, and Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Dr. Kernberg formerly served as Director of the C.F. Menninger Memorial Hospital, Supervising and Training Analyst of the Topeka Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Director of the Psychotherapy Research Project of the Menninger Foundation. The recipient of many awards for excellence in psychiatry and author of numerous books in the field, he is also Past President of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

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