Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain : A Clinical Guide book cover
1st Edition

Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain
A Clinical Guide

ISBN 9781138955011
Published May 16, 2017 by Routledge
242 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

SAVE $15.89
was $52.95
USD $37.06

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide demonstrates that the concept of the unconscious is profoundly relevant for understanding the mind, psychic pain, and traumatic human suffering. Editors Paula L. Ellman and Nancy R. Goodman established this book to discover how symbolization takes place through the "finding of unconscious fantasy" in ways that mend the historic split between trauma and fantasy. Cases present the dramatic encounters between patient and therapist when confronting discovery of the unconscious in the presence of trauma and body pain, along with narrative.

Unconscious fantasy has a central role in both clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis. This volume is a guide to the workings of the dyad and the therapeutic action of "finding" unconscious meanings. Staying close to the clinical engagement of analyst and patient shows the transformative nature of the "finding" process as the dyad works with all aspects of the unconscious mind. Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide uses the immediacy of clinical material to show how trauma becomes known in the "here and now" of enactment processes and accompanies the more symbolized narratives of transference and countertransference. This book features contributions from a rich variety of theoretical traditions illustrating working models including Klein, Arlow, and Bion and from leaders in the fields of narrative, trauma, and psychosomatics. Whether working with narrative, trauma or body pain, unconscious fantasy may seem out of reach. Attending to the analyst/ patient process of finding the derivatives of unconscious fantasy offers a potent roadmap for the way psychoanalytic engagement uncovers deep layers of the mind.

In focusing on the places of trauma and psychosomatic concreteness, along with narrative, Finding Unconscious Fantasy in Narrative, Trauma, and Body Pain: A Clinical Guide shows the vitality of "finding" unconscious fantasy and its effect in initiating a symbolizing process. Chapters in this book bring to life the sufferings and capacities of individual patients with actual verbatim process material demonstrating how therapists and patients discover and uncover the derivatives of unconscious fantasy. Finding the unconscious meanings in states of trauma, body expressions, and transference/countertransference enactments becomes part of the therapeutic dialogue between therapists and patients unraveling symptoms and allowing transformations. Learning how therapeutic work progresses to uncover unconscious fantasy will benefit all therapists and students of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy interested to know more about the psychoanalytic dialogue.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Paula L. Ellman and Nancy R. Goodman  Finding unconscious fantasy

Chapter Two: Nancy R. Goodman The “Finding Theater”: a schema for finding unconscious fantasy

 Chapter Three: Paula L. Ellman Finding unconscious fantasy: Contact and therapeutic action

Chapter Four: Werner Bohlebor The psychoanalytic treatment of an adult patient traumatized in early childhood"

Chapter Five: Nancy R. Goodman The impossible and the possible: finding unconscious fantasy dimensions in Werner Bohleber’s case of Mr. A

Chapter Six: Elias M da Rocha Barros and Elizabeth L. da Rocha Barros Unconscious phantasy: discussion of Werner Bohleber’s case

Chapter Seven: Paula L. Ellman A Soma case of pain

Chapter Eight: Marilia Aisenstein Painful transference and pains of transference: discussion of Paula Ellman’s case

Chapter Nine: Batya Monder Discussion of Dr. Paula Ellman’s case

Chapter Ten: Irene Cairo Babette, interrupted

Chapter Eleven: Harriet I. Basseches Discussion of Dr. Irene Cairo's case: Babette, interrupted

Chapter Twelve: Catalina Bronstein Noises and voices: discussion on Babette, interrupted"

Chapter Thirteen: Janice S. Lieberman Not quite a princess

Chapter Fourteen: Carolyn S. Ellman Mirror, mirror on the wall: who’s the fairest of us all? Comments on Janice Lieberman’s case : "Not quite a princess"

Chapter Fifteen: Ilany Kogan The broken doll: discovering the unconscious fantasy in the case of Karen

Chapter Sixteen: Dori Laub and Nanette C. Auerhahn Unconscious traumatic fantasy

Chapter Seventeen: Robert Oelsner The dawn of unconscious phantasy

Chapter Eighteen: Arlene Kramer Richards Fantasy and trauma

Chapter Nineteen: Rogelio Sosnik Searching unconscious phantasy

View More



Paula L. Ellman, Ph.D., ABPP, is a training and supervising analyst in the Contemporary Freudian Society Washington, DC Program and the International Psychoanalytical Association. She is a Member of the Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis of the IPA (COWAP), a Board Member of the North America Psychoanalytic Confederation (NAPsaC) representing CFS, and Visiting Professor at the Sino-American raining Project in Wuhan China. She has written and presented in the areas of female psychology, enactment, terror and sadomasochism. She has a private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in North Bethesda, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Nancy R. Goodman, Ph.D., is a training and supervising analyst with the Contemporary Freudian Society, Washington, DC Program and the International Psychoanalytic Association. She publishes on the topics of psychic trauma, female development, sadomasochism, and witnessing processes and is Director of the Virtual Psychoanalytic Museum, maintains a psychoanalytic practice in Bethesda, MD.


"Reading this book leads to deeper and more secret levels of the psychoanalytic experience, those that allow a contact with the Unconscious and its fantasies which, from obscurity, steer and powerfully influence the destiny of individuals, groups and sometimes entire nations. The path of exploration chosen by the authors is the most effective and convincing: the clinic, presented here at a high quality level and complemented by refined and harmoniously consistent theoretical reflections. This publication has a decidedly international flavor and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive view on the subject of unconscious fantasies, a dimension of the human psyche about which Psychoanalysis has developed a specific and absolutely unparalleled expertise."-Stefano Bolognini, President, International Psychoanalytical Association.

"Nancy Goodman and Paula Ellman propose a creative structure for revisiting the concept of Unconscious Fantasy. A dialogue is developed among excellent clinicians/authors belonging to different psychoanalytic cultures, based on clinical presentations. They focus on 'finding the unconscious fantasy in the psychoanalytic encounter' which 'brings processing and meaning to what was previously unrecognized'-- in my words an 'as yet situation' - even in situations of trauma or physical pain. This book generously opens multiple perspectives, so the readers continue this dialogue exploring how they create in their own work the best conditions with their patients for the unspoken to be heard. I highly recommend this book."-Haydée Faimberg, author of The Telescoping of Generations.

"An essential text book for all psychotherapists and psychoanalysts on how to discover the unconscious fantasy in psychoanalytic treatment. This book may be read as a mystery novel with two smart detectives, Nancy R. Goodman and Paula L. Ellman, in search of discovering the unconscious fantasies of the clinical cases of body pain and trauma with colleagues from across the globe of analytic thinking."-David Rosenfeld, MD, Ex Vice President IPA, Professor for Buenos Aires University, recipient of Sigourney and Hayman Awards and author of The Body Speaks: Body Image Delusions and Hypochondria.

"Character is destiny, and unconscious fantasies form the mind-molding DNA that pattern each person’s unique character. In these engaging remarkably candid contributions, clinicians of diverse theoretical backgrounds offer clinical reports alive in their actuality, each account followed by a dialogue of serious questions and reflections. These frank discussions expose and explore the rocky paths by which those hidden soul-shaping fantasies can be uncovered. This is analysis in vivo. Reading this work offers the stimulation and learning that comes from taking part in a seminar with master clinicians. Here, analysis lives."-Warren S. Poland, M.D., author of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis.

"Paula Ellman and Nancy Goodman have produced a most unusual book that functions at one and the same time on a number of different levels. The book itself can perhaps be best considered as scholarly research in action. It brings together writers from varying clinico-theoretical orientations, asking each to consider the concept of unconscious phantasy not as a theoretical concept but as something discovered, a living evolving phenomenon in their clinical work. The editors in their scholarly introduction, foreground a tension in psychoanalysis that takes it origin at the earliest beginnings of our discipline- a kind of clinico-theoretic bifurcation between the concepts of ‘trauma’ and ‘unconscious fantasy. The editors are to be congratulated on having done much to repair this split and in so doing show how different ways of thinking can enrich each other. The book will be a most valuable research and clinical reference, a real ‘workbook’ for all psychoanalytically oriented clinicians"-David Bell, author of Psychoanalysis and Culture: A Kleinian Perspective.