Patterns: Building Blocks of Experience

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In recent years, various tributaries of psychoanalytic and developmental theory have flowed into our dawning understanding of the role of early sensory and affective experiences in the construction of our personal worlds. In Patterns: Building Blocks of Experience, Marilyn Charles traces how such primary experiences coalesce into patterns, those essential units of meaning that capture the unique subjectivity of each individual. Frequently "known" by their prosody or affective melody, patterns come to have ...
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Patterns: Building Blocks of Experience

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Overview

In recent years, various tributaries of psychoanalytic and developmental theory have flowed into our dawning understanding of the role of early sensory and affective experiences in the construction of our personal worlds. In Patterns: Building Blocks of Experience, Marilyn Charles traces how such primary experiences coalesce into patterns, those essential units of meaning that capture the unique subjectivity of each individual. Frequently "known" by their prosody or affective melody, patterns come to have profound meanings that we utilize in constructing basic notions of self and other. Through pattern, Charles holds, we approach elusive meanings through dimensions of shape, contour, and affective resonance. Such patterned understandings, in turn, become a mode of interchange through which we touch one another in ways that go beyond the overtly physical.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reading Charles's book is like being invited to make meaning on evermore complex levels. The chapters are like movements in a symphony, building on each other, helping readers to make meaning of theorists like Matte-Blanco, Bion, and Milner through rich clinical examples."

- Susan E. Damattos, Ph.D.

"To all those brow-knitted surveyors of Bion and object relations theoritsts (and we are many) comes Marilyn Charles to clarify, interpret, elaborate, and apply in new ways the value of their contributions. In her characteristically gracious prose, Charles elucidates the essential patterns of psychic development, how these patterns become distorted and disrupted, and how therapy can be restorative. It is no surprise, given the value Charles places on pre- and non-verbal patterns, the she reaches to comprehend the female body - and, similarly, given the value she places on language and prosody, that she does so through analyses of the work of female poets, notably Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath. Yet, always the clinician, she remains clear-eyed about work with patients and helps us think about what we do in new and surprising ways."

- Douglas H. Ingram, Editor, JAAP

"Scintillating, breathtaking, awesome - such are the words that come to mind in characterizing Marilyn Charles's writing as one is scorched by domains of psychic reality that her words ignite. Patterns is a paean to creativity from the depths linked to loving appreciation of sensory reality."

- Michael Eigen, Author, Damaged Bodies

“Charles . . . seeks to explore this prelexical period and unravel its epistemological and communicative mysteries. She brings special tools to this task. Not only is she a practicing psychoanalyst; she is also a gifted poet and artist and brings all three talents to bear in order to shed light on how the infant organizes and communicates his or her experiences. . . . This is not a work on esthetics so much as it is an esthetic work on psychoanalysis, one that adds dimension, clarity, and richness to it.”

- James S. Grotstein, Ph.D., Author, Who is the Dreamer, Who Dreams the Dream? (Analytic Press, 2000)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881633726
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/1/2002
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst with the Michigan Psychoanalytic Council and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University. A poet and artist herself, Dr. Charles has a special interest in the creative process and, in her clinical practice, works extensively with artists, writers, and musicians.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Prologue
Acknowledgments
1 Meaning and Primary Experience 1
2 Patterns: Unconscious Shapings of Self and Experience 21
3 Auto-Sensuous Shapes: Prototypes for Creative Forms 48
4 Nonphysical Touch: Modes of Containment and Communication Within the Analytic Process 79
5 Foundations of Creative Expression: Primary Experience as Creative Potential 103
6 The Language of the Body: Allusions to Self-Experience in Women's Poetry 135
Epilogue 163
References 166
Index 179
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