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The Therapeutic Narrative
     

The Therapeutic Narrative

by Barbara Almond, Richard Almond
 

How do people change? Longing for personal growth and transformation is a central theme of our times. Psychotherapy seeks to change the dynamics behind people's symptoms and conflicts. Writers, too, are fascinated by this theme, and have explored it frequently in their stories and characters. In this book, Barbara and Richard Almond, both psychoanalysts, explore a

Overview

How do people change? Longing for personal growth and transformation is a central theme of our times. Psychotherapy seeks to change the dynamics behind people's symptoms and conflicts. Writers, too, are fascinated by this theme, and have explored it frequently in their stories and characters. In this book, Barbara and Richard Almond, both psychoanalysts, explore a variety of novels that describe internal, personal change. They discover that there are fascinating parallels between the processes that lead to change in literary characters and the mechanisms observed in psychotherapeutic change.

From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden to Anne Tyler's IThe Accidental Tourist, the plot begins with a character struggling with personality limitations. A new person appears in the story; a bond is formed with the central character. In the relationship that follows, the two struggle. Confrontational and loving interactions lead the protagonist through a process of gradual change. The authors delineate a therapeutic narrative: the plot of change in both psychotherapy and literature. By comparing a variety of novels, they elaborate the elements of this therapeutic narrative and draw provocative conclusions about the mechanisms of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Argues that the therapeutic narrative exists in both psychotherapy and literature, and concludes that we read, write, and talk to heal. Chapters include "Pride and Prejudice": Jane Austen's foreshadowing of psychoanalytic process; "Jane Eyre": mastering passion and guilt through mutual influence; Margaret Drabble's "The Needle's Eye": a depressive neurosis is healed in a spontaneous relationship; "The Accidental Tourist": traumatic loss and pathological grief respond to "accidental therapy"; and "Heidi": the innocence of a child as a therapeutic force. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275953621
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/1996
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)

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Meet the Author

BARBARA ALMOND is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical Center. She received her M.D. from Yale University and did her psychiatric training at Georgetown and Stanford. Dr. Almond is an advanced candidate at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and has a private practice in Palo Alto, CA.

RICHARD ALMOND is a member of the faculty at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and is Clincial Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Almond received his M.D. from Yale University and did his psychiatric training at Yale. He is the author of The Healing Community (1974) and is currently in private practice in Palo Alto, CA.

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