1st Edition

Body Words and the Analyst’s Use of Self Transforming the Unspeakable in Clinical Process

By Barbara Pizer Copyright 2024
    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this book, it becomes impossible to stand apart from the analytic field as abstract concepts, such as dissociation, intersubjectivity, and unconscious communication, as well as newly coined ones, like "Relational (K)not" and "Body Words," come alive through a vivid unfolding of analytic process.

    You are invited into the mind of the analyst as she draws from reverie, memory, and affect to inspire offerings that enliven the moment, moving the analytic pair forward in affective freedom and self-definition. Body Words identify the subjective linkages we make to describe experiencing within and between self and other that leads us to know whether we or our patient are delivering the message in a manner that feels real. Each chapter illustrates how Pizer arrived at this important concept and others in a way that is full of rich, experience-near clinical moments that posed significant challenges.

    Body Words and the Analyst's Use of Self is a rare window that allows readers—new and seasoned clinicians of various theoretical persuasions—to become intimate witnesses to the analyst's subjectivity and the creativity of the analytic partnership.

    Foreword by Donnel B. Stern  1. Introduction  Reverie: In the Beginning  2. When the Analyst is Ill: Dimensions of Self-Disclosure  Reverie: A True Story  3. When the Crunch is a (K)not: A Crimp in Relational Dialogue  4. Passion, Responsibility, and "Wild Geese": Creating a Context for the Absence of Conscious Intentions  5. Narrative Writing and Soulful Metaphors: Commentary on Paper by Barbara Pizer by Donnel B. Stern  6. "Eva, Get the Goldfish Bowl": Affect and Intuition in the Analytic Relationship  7. From Black Hole to Potential Space: Discussion of Barbara Pizer's '"Eva, Get the Goldfish Bowl": Affect and Intitution in the Analytic Relationship" by Stuart A. Pizer  Reverie: A Motherless Child  8. Risk and Potential in Analytic Disclosure: Can the Analyst Make "The Wrong Thing" Right?  Reverie: I Wish That Life  9. The Heart of the Matter in Matters of the Heart: Power and Intimacy in Analytic and Couples Relationships  Reverie: I'll Never Forget  10. A Clinical Exploration of Moving Anger Forward: Intimacy, Anger, and Creative Freedom  Reverie: Sometimes People Have to   11. Maintaining Analytic Liveliness: "The Fire and the Fuel" of Growth and Change  Reverie: To Tell the Truth  12. Trauma, Dissociation, and Disorganized Attachment: A Clinical Collage Engaging Giovanni Liotti's Work  Reverie: English Is My Mother's Second Language  13. "Why Can't We Be Lovers?" When the Price of Love Is Loss of Love: Boundary Violations in Clinical Context  Reverie: Who Would Think  14. Not-Me: The Vicissitudes of Aging  Reverie: Whatever the Rewards of Childhood  15. Body Words: Transforming the Unspeakable in Clinical Process  16. Coda—Bodies and Embodiment, 1963: The Person of the Analyst  Final Reverie: There Must Not  


    Barbara Pizer, EdD, ABPP, is faculty, personal and supervising analyst, and former board member of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis; assistant clinical professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues; and in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    'Barbara Pizer's book is riveting. Her detailed use of self is evocative and enriching. Her thinking, anchored in Body Words, is novel, deep, and compelling. She achieves an extraordinary depth of perspective in theory and practice, demonstrating an incredible ability to immerse herself in clinical challenges, to conceptualize them, and meet them. It's a must-read for all clinicians.' 

    Hazel Ipp, PhD, chief editor emeritus, Psychoanalytic Dialogues; vice president, IARPP

    'Open this book and enter a world of experience. As one of the masters of the practice and theory of Relational Psychoanalysis, Barbara Pizer conveys in exquisite detail how psychoanalysis moves and changes people's lives. She practices and teaches the art of engagement, where feeling and expression, whether verbal or not, are the embodied center of clinical work. You will feel immersed in the living moment of analytic work. More important, you will learn how the shared knots of repetition loosen and transform into a more open way of engaging and living creatively as well.' 

    Jack Foehl, PhD, joint editor in chief, Psychoanalytic Dialogues; president, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

    'Pizer's book demonstrates her astute capacity to put the world of the patient-therapist relationship before us. Her innovative ideas for how to engage successfully in the dyad are perfect for both experienced and new clinicians. Body Words is an accurate, evocative expression of mind-brain-body connection crucial for a contemporary emphasis on nonlinear process and systems thinking. Finally, there is the poetry in Pizer's prose that her old readers have come to expect and new readers, dreading theory-heavy, unimaginative writing, will welcome.' 

    Estelle Shane, PhD, training and supervising analyst and faculty member, Insitute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, and the New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles