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Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients
     

Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients

by John Steiner
 

Essentially clinical in its approach, Psychic Retreats discusses the problem of patients who are 'stuck' and with whom it is difficult to make meaningful contact. John Steiner, an experienced psychoanalyst, uses new developments in Kleinian theory to explain how this happens.

He examines the way object relationships and defences can be organized

Overview

Essentially clinical in its approach, Psychic Retreats discusses the problem of patients who are 'stuck' and with whom it is difficult to make meaningful contact. John Steiner, an experienced psychoanalyst, uses new developments in Kleinian theory to explain how this happens.

He examines the way object relationships and defences can be organized into complex structures which lead to a personality and an analysis becoming rigid and stuck, with little opportunity for development or change. These systems of defences are pathological organisations of the personality: John Steiner describes them as 'psychic retreats', into which the patient can withdraw to avoid contact both with the analyst and with reality.

To provide a background to these original and controversial concepts, the author builds on more established ideas such as Klein's distinction between the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, and briefly reviews previous work on pathological organizations of the personality. He illustrates his discussion with detailed clinical material, with examples of the way psychic retreats operate to provide a respite from both paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxieties. He looks at the way such organizations function as a defence against unbearable guilt and describes the mechanism by which fragmentation of the personality can be reversed so the lost parts of the self can be regained and reintegrated in to the personality.

Psychic Retreats is written with the practising psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in mind. The emphasis is therefore clinical throughout the book, which concludes with a chapter on the technical problems which arise in the treatment of such severely ill patients.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"All practitioners at times struggle with the pathologically organised mind and will be relieved and heartened by this book, and those students who complain that the authors of clinical papers never declare what they actually say in sessions will find nothing to grumble about." - British Journal of Psychotherapy

"This is a very clearly and concisely written book about patients who are very difficult to reach. Its great strength lies in the way that Steiner convincingly brings together detailed clinical description and the theoretical concepts informing his work ... I wholeheartedly recommend it to a wide readership." - Chris Mawson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781134858026
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/02/2003
Series:
New Library of Psychoanalysis
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
891 KB

Meet the Author

John Steiner is a member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and a Consultant Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London.

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