The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life

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Overview

While most psychotherapies agree that therapeutic work in the 'here and now' has the greatest power to bring about change, few if any books have ever addressed the problem of what 'here and now' actually means.
Beginning with the claim that we are psychologically alive only in the now, internationally acclaimed child psychiatrist Daniel N. Stern tackles vexing yet fascinating questions such as: what is the nature of 'nowness'? How is 'now' experienced between two people? What do present moments have to do with therapeutic growth and change?
Certain moments of shared immediate experience, such as a knowing glance across a dinner table, are paradigmatic of what Stern shows to be the core of human experience, the 3 to 5 seconds he identifies as 'the present moment.' By placing the present moment at the center of psychotherapy, Stern alters our ideas about how therapeutic change occurs, and about what is significant in therapy. As much a meditation on the problems of memory and experience as it is a call to appreciate every moment of experience, The Present Moment is a must-read for all who are interested in the latest thinking about human experience.
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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Psychiatry
“This work is a must-read for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists interested in psychotherapeutic process and a new and systematic way to think about the 'here and now,' which most therapists believe is at the center of where change in psychotherapy occurs. But Stern's latest work also has the power to show the eternity in a moment, to paraphrase poet William Blake. In doing so, this book will leave every reader with a new appreciation for the richness of even the most seemingly mundane moments in everyday life.”
International Journal of Psychotherapy
“Immensely important, indisputably major.....authoritatively straddling the spectrum encompassing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, adult and child, neuro-science and phenomenological philosophy, and much else, a book which summates many years of preoccupation and collaborative labour, on his part, in a most lucid, concise, and comprehensive way.”
Karen Zelan - Psychologist-Psychoanalyst APA Division 39
“Stern's attention to the present moment is a theoretically important contribution, with far-ranging implications for therapeutic technique.”
Psychologist-Psychoanalyst APA Division 39
Stern's attention to the present moment is a theoretically important contribution, with far-ranging implications for therapeutic technique.— Karen Zelan
American Journal of Psychiatry
This work is a must-read for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists interested in psychotherapeutic process and a new and systematic way to think about the 'here and now,' which most therapists believe is at the center of where change in psychotherapy occurs. But Stern's latest work also has the power to show the eternity in a moment, to paraphrase poet William Blake. In doing so, this book will leave every reader with a new appreciation for the richness of even the most seemingly mundane moments in everyday life.
International Journal of Psychotherapy
Immensely important, indisputably major.....authoritatively straddling the spectrum encompassing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, adult and child, neuro-science and phenomenological philosophy, and much else, a book which summates many years of preoccupation and collaborative labour, on his part, in a most lucid, concise, and comprehensive way.
Psychologist-Psychoanalyst APA Division 39
Stern's attention to the present moment is a theoretically important contribution, with far-ranging implications for therapeutic technique.”— Karen Zelan
Library Journal
Noted psychiatrist Stern (The Interpersonal World of the Infant) addresses the phenomenon of the emotional now, about four seconds of vitally felt but unspoken "lived stories." When shared with another, these "moments of meeting" shape the identities of participants in what is an intersubjective exchange, a mutual mind reading. Psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on history and interpretation, tends to miss this immediacy, which is as powerful and elusive as responding to a musical phrase or a child's gesture. Stern distills his perspective from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, the arts, and "breakfast interviews" that shed light on everyday "now" experience. His observations and theory will change our thinking about intimate relationships, time and rhythm, behavioral evolution, empathy, morality, and brain function. What works in therapy seems akin to Franz Alexander's "corrective emotional experience," an unremarked forebear in Stern's otherwise impressive bibliography. Important and accessible enough to be considered essential for most libraries.-James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393704297
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/15/2004
  • Series: Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 700,756
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel N. Stern, M.D., is Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Cornell Medical School. He wrote the acclaimedThe Interpersonal World of the Infant, among other notable titles. He died in 2012.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Problem of "Now" 3
2 The Nature of the Present Moment 23
3 The Temporal Architecture of the Present Moment 41
4 The Present Moment as a Lived Story: Its Organization 55
5 The Intersubjective Matrix 75
6 Intersubjectivity as a Basic, Primary Motivational System 97
7 Implicit Knowing 112
8 The Role of Consciousness and the Notion of Intersubjective Consciousness 122
9 The Present Moment and Psychotherapy 135
10 The Process of Moving Along 149
11 Interweaving the Implicit and Explicit in the Clinical Situation 187
12 The Past and the Present Moment 197
13 Therapeutic Change: A Summary and Some General Clinical Implications 219
App The Micro-Analytic Interview 229
Glossary 241
References 249
Index 275
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