1st Edition

Life in the Consulting Room

ISBN 9781782206392
Published May 15, 2018 by Routledge
186 Pages

USD $39.95

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Book Description

Life in the Consulting Room offers a series of noteworthy vignettes that occurred in the author's consulting room. Although the context and objective of each consultation varied, the decision to present them here is due to a particularly interesting feature of the patient's life or a significant point that arose during their interview with the author. Many of the cases have issues of academic interest but these are not pursued here. Instead, these accounts should be seen as portraits, "snapshots" that were considered emotionally interesting and intellectually stimulating. Some of these patients were in short- or long-term therapy, but most cases were being assessed to determine whether psychotherapy was in fact the best way of helping them. No doubt all psychodynamic practitioners will have met some of these findings in their practice, but the present book offers a particularly significant collection of clinical episodes.

Table of Contents

Introduction.  Sex and love.  Unusual Solutions.  Unusual Stories.  Interesting Stories.  Unusual Histories.  Sentences.  Students’ stories.  Intra-vaginal non-ejaculation.  Music as a language.  The replacement child.

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A. H. Brafman trained as a psychoanalyst of adults and children. In his NHS career he worked as a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry, and for many years ran a group for parents and under-fives. He ran infant observation courses at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and also seminars on psychodynamic work with children, adolescents, and adults for the British Psychoanalytic Society and several other training organisations.


"From his life’s work in psychiatry, child psychiatry and psychoanalysis, Dr Brafman has selected some clinical "Portraits", moments in consultations or treatments when something happened that struck him as a significant communication. He demonstrates how an open mind, patient curiosity, the capacity to bear "not knowing", together with a deep understanding of psychological development, have allowed him to respond to requests for help that may not be clearly articulated or even understood by the person consulting him. He makes clear that understanding a painful situation can be helpful in itself, and Dr Brafman’s own humanity and capacity to do exactly that lays the foundation for interventions that are sometimes surprising, always meaningful. A fascinating book." –Dr Jennifer Johns, Psychoanalyst and Fellow, British Psychoanalytical Society and The Institute of Psychoanalysis