Love and Loss in Life and in Treatment: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Love and Loss in Life and in Treatment

1st Edition

By Linda B. Sherby


204 pages

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Have you ever wondered what a therapist really thinks? Have you ever wondered if a therapist truly cares about her patients? Have you tried to imagine the unimaginable, the loss of the person most dear to you? Is it true that `tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all? `

Love and loss are a ubiquitous part of life, bringing the greatest joys and the greatest heartaches. In one way or another all relationships end. People leave, move on, die. Loss is an ever-present part of life. In Love and Loss, Linda B. Sherby illustrates that in order to grow and thrive, we must learn to mourn, to move beyond the person we have lost while taking that person with us in our minds. Love, unlike loss, is not inevitable but, she argues, no satisfying life can be lived without deeply meaningful relationships.

The focus of Love and Loss is how patients' and therapists' independent experiences of love and loss, as well as the love and loss that they experience in the treatment room, intermingle and interact. There are always two people in the consulting room, both of whom are involved in their own respective lives, as well as the mutually responsive relationship that exists between them. Love and loss in the life of one of the parties affects the other, whether that affect takes place on a conscious or unconscious level.

Love and Loss is unique in two respects.The first is its focus on the analyst's current life situation and how that necessarily affects both the patient and the treatment. The second is Sherby's willingness to share the personal memoir of her own loss which she has interwoven with extensive clinical material to clearly illustrate the effect the analyst's current life circumstance has on the treatment.

Writing as both a psychoanalyst and a widow, Linda B. Sherby makes it possible for the reader to gain an inside view of the emotional experience of being an analyst, making this book of interest to a wide audience. Professionals from psychoanalysts and psychotherapists and bereavement specialists through students in all the mental health fields to the public in general, will resonate and learn from this heartfelt and straightforward book.


"This is a book of rare beauty. Linda Sherby renders her inner experiences both of love and profound grief and their impact on her patients with a richness and complexity that is the mark of a truly gifted writer. This deeply affecting book makes a valuable contribution, not only to psychoanalysis, but to literature as well." -  Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D. Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Institute; and New York University Psychoanalytic Institute

"In poignant, accessible prose, Sherby shares her passionate love and grief as a wife, and her tender concern as a therapist. Sherby’s extraordinary self portrait connects us with our own fiercest joys and sorrows, and both the pleasure and pain of remembering those we have truly loved." - Sandra Buechler, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute

Table of Contents

Dedication. Acknowledgements.Foreword. Introduction. Journeys. Falling in Love in Treatment and in Life. The Love Stories Continue.The Erotic Countertransference: Exploring An Analyst’s Sexual Feelings. Forced Termination:When Pain is Shared. Self-Disclosure: Seeking Connection and Protection. From Disconnection to Reconnection. Illness and Death: Self-Disclosure Revisited.The Power of Love and Loss in a Psychoanalytic Treatment: Looking Back. Endings: The Power of Love and Loss in a Psychoanalytic Treatment. Mourning: Letting Go and Holding On.

About the Author

Linda B. Sherby is a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, and supervisor in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida.

About the Series

Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series

When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.

The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.

But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.

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Subject Categories

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