1st Edition

Beyond Language in Relational Psychotherapy The Selected Works of Helena Hargaden

By Helena Hargaden Copyright 2023
    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection of articles by Dr. Helena Hargaden makes the case for the evolution of relational theory from a scientific and poetic knowledge base, expressing the different forms of human suffering.

    Journal articles, book chapters, and speeches spanning the course of 22 years trace the evolution of the author’s own mind alongside the evolution of relational theory. Drawing on her knowledge of science and poetry, Dr. Hargaden examines case studies tracing the relational process which involves the vulnerability of both therapist and client as change happens in them through complex relatedness. The author makes broad in depth theoretical links with humanistic and psychoanalytic perspectives which reveal the richness inherent in the term ‘Relational’. Themes explored include intersubjectivity, the use of the analyst’s subjectivity, mutuality, therapy as a two-way street, dissociation, enactment, the use of ‘the third’, race, gender and sexuality. 

    Blending approachable language and themes with highly intellectual ideas, this text will be of high value and intrigue to a wide range of readers, particularly transactional analysts and relational psychotherapists.

    1. An Analysis of Nonverbal Transactions Drawing on Theories of Intersubjectivity  2. The Role of the Imagination in an Analysis of Unconscious Relatedness  3. "Father, Where Art Thou?" The Significance of Transgenerational Trauma in a Psycho-therapy with Luke  4. Deconfusion of the Child Ego State: A Relational Perspective  5. "Come On You Blues! Fathers."  6. The Anniversary of The Wailing Woman  7. Anna Karenina, Lilly, and the Co-created Unconscious Relational Third  8. Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November  9. Building Resilience: The Role of Firm Boundaries and the Third in Relational Group Therapy  10. When Parting is Not Such Sweet Sorrow  11. To Be or Not To Be – Is that The Question? The Paradox of Script  12. A Talk on Money, Race, and the links with Karpman’s Triangle  13. The Erotic Relational Matrix Revisited  14 Then We’ll Come from the Shadows  15. The Irish Uprising of Easter 1916: A Psychopolitical Dialogue


    Helena Hargaden, MSc, D.Psych, TSTA, works and lives in Sussex. She is co-editor and author of a variety of papers and books. She has been widely published and translated into a number of languages. She was awarded the Eric Berne Memorial Award in 2007 for her work with Charlotte Sills on the "domains of transference".   

    ‘This wonderful anthology is a feast of a book. As a reader, I find myself invited, engaged, stimulated, conversed with. Hargaden combines theory, poetry, neurobiology and political thought and weaves them in and out of rich and exciting case studies. Through these pages we can see the evolution of the author’s thinking and practice in relational psychotherapy as she explores the multiplicity of selves in the therapeutic engagement, describing a ‘way of knowing the other (which) allows for the uniqueness of both in the encounter because it is not fixed, static, or even consistent’.’

    Charlotte Sills, professor, integrative psychotherapist, teaching and supervising transactional analyst, coach and supervisor

    ‘I had a visceral experience reading Helena’s book. I felt in my heart space an expansion and a warm stirring as I accompanied her on her journey. This book, skillfully and successfully demonstrates how the integration of the brain’s right and left hemisphere is more than an analytical tool, but one that holds the essence of our creative self, our personalities and our experiences. It therefore succeeds in highlighting the significance of bringing the ‘whole self’ into relationships.’ As I read it, I felt that Helena was giving the gift of her full self to the reader and what a generous gift!’

    Hazel Hyslop, systemic psychotherapist, supervisor, tutor and leadership coach

    ‘Helena Hargaden has been at the forefront of developing relationality in transactional analysis for many years, about which this volume provides a living testament to the depth of her thinking. This selection, which encompasses a range of subjects, including transgenerational trauma, gender, anniversaries, culture, the relational third, boundaries, endings, money, the erotic, and politics, shows how Hargaden moves seamlessly from the clinical, through reflection, to the imaginative, and the theoretical. In this, we see Hargaden’s profound commitment to her clinical work, as well as her creativity in advancing relational theory. The book is lyrical, moving, humorous, and profound, and well deserves its place in this World Library series.’

    Keith Tudor, Professor of Psychotherapy, Auckland University of Technology

    ‘Reading her new book, Helena Hargaden encouraged me to take the road less travelled when it comes to my working and personal life. She makes a strong plea that as Relational Transactional Analysts, apart from using our theoretical knowledge as our main source, we dare to dive into the endless resources of metaphors, literature, music and other creativity housing in the right hemisphere of our brain. It is a joy to read how she actually manages to give clear words to experiences that go beyond words. For me it was like arriving at a tantalizing resting place on my travels.’

    Mirjam te Slaa, transactional analyst counseling and teamcoach, Bsc Speech therapy, PTSTA-C, The Netherlands

    ‘This profound, moving book is a must for all psychotherapy training course syllabuses. Not only a fascinating memoir documenting a 30-year career and a journey towards becoming a significant contributor to the workings and theory of relational psychotherapy, particularly in Transactional Analysis, it will also act as a guide for students, qualified psychotherapists and those outside the clinical field. Dr Hargaden's authority, energy, and humility will inspire the reader to use their whole minds, helping them synthesise the non-linear right-hemisphere 'noise' of their subjectivities with their left hemisphere' theoretical formulations' to bring deeper meaning and understanding into the therapeutic endeavour.’

    Patrick Brook, co-founder and academic director, The Connexus Institute, Hove

    ‘As in a compilation album, this exciting book offers an enticing collection of the fifteen best hits produced by clinical master Helena Hargaden on both the art and the heart of psychotherapy. The result is an intimate invitation for psychotherapists and clinicians in general to tune the left hemisphere to the right as they read through, and at the same time listen to, a deeply inspiring and moving story of Hargaden's most personal, clinical, academic and creative experience.’

    Zefiro Mellacqua, consultant psychiatrist and certified transactional analyst (CTA-P), head of Home Treatment Team, Ticino, Switzerland