Loss: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms, 1st Edition

Edited by Salman Akhtar


284 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367404260
pub: 2019-11-20
SAVE ~$7.99
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9780367404239
pub: 2019-11-20
SAVE ~$28.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


The experience of loss is ubiquitous in human life, but its nature and impact have great variations. When loss is phase-specific, expected, and accompanied by compensatory supplies, it can lead to ego growth. When loss is untimely, unexpected, and unaccompanied by environmental 'holding', it becomes traumatic and needs clinical attention.

This edited volume brings together a distinguished cadre of international contributors in order to explain the multifaceted and nuanced nature of loss from a variety of different perspectives. These clinicians, administrators, and writers delineate the great variability in the setting, antecedents, and consequences of loss. Development-facilitating and development-impeding losses are addressed and so are the losses that seem inevitable as one moves from childhood through adolescence and young adulthood to midlife and old age. Loss experienced by institutional organizations and war-torn societies is also examined. The book’s ultimate focus is clinical: it highlights the many technical dilemmas in working with grieving patients and offers therapeutic strategies aimed at ameliorating their anguish.

Loss: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists both in practice and training from a variety of different backgrounds.


"This collection of essays addresses the universal challenge of loss, something that none of us escapes in our lives. The editor and contributors elucidate the pain of loss and subsequent mourning states in varied contexts: loss of crucial parts of oneself, loss of love relationships, loss of one’s prized possessions, loss of one’s home, and loss of one’s country. The pre-existing central ideals in this realm are further elaborated and theoretically fine-tuned. This promises the reader deeper understanding of a crucial human experience ? one we encounter at every turn in our work…and in our own lives. This book is well-worth reading." --Henri Parens, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas Jefferson University, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"In this wide ranging and comprehensive contribution to psychoanalysis and social science, Salman Akhtar and his contributors highlight the impact of different types of loss: normative, traumatic, actual, inevitable and invisible loss. They extend the scope of loss from individuals to organizations and war ravaged societies. The contributors exemplify their proposals with the help of poignant clinical vignettes, poetry, and powerful cinematic representations of mourning and loss. By fleshing out the important dynamics and multilayered consequences of loss, this book offers the reader an exceptionally rich intellectual and emotional experience. A must read!" --Shahrzad Siassi, PhD, Training and Supervising, Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, Faculty Member, New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

Table of Contents




PART I: Developmental Realm

Chapter One: Normative and Traumatic Loss in Childhood by Ann Smolen

Chapter Two: Actual, Inevitable, and Invisible Losses during Adolescence by Jennifer Mariko Neuwalder

Chapter Three: Loss as the Relational Basis of the Self and the Politics of Mourning by Clara Mucci

Chapter Four: Loss during Middle and Old Age by Julian Stern

PART II: Cultural Realm

Chapter Five: Loss in Organizations by Philip Stokoe

Chapter Six: The Spectrum of Loss in War-torn Societies by Aleksander Dimitrijevic

Chapter Seven: A Poetics of Loss by Martina Kolb

Chapter Eight: Three Movies Focusing on Loss and Bereavement by Salman Akhtar & Beverly Shin

PART III: Clinical Realm

Chapter Nine: Manifestations and Management of Childhood Parental Loss in Adult Patients by Salman Akhtar

Chapter Ten: Loss, Need, and Omnipotence by Suzanne Benser

Chapter Eleven: Between Diagnosis and Death by Isil Vahip

Chapter Twelve: Therapists’ Reactions to Patients’ Death by Sybil Houlding



About the Editor

Salman Akhtar is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has 98 books to his credit and received the prestigious Sigourney Award in 2012.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health