Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change

A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

By Susan Kavaler-Adler


312 pages

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In her earlier books, Susan Kavaler-Adler identified healthy mourning for traumas and life changes as an essential aspect of successful analysis, and drew the distinction between a healthy acceptance of mourning as part of development and pathological mourning, which 'fixes' a patient at an unhealthy stage of development.

This new book brings such distinctions into the consulting room, exploring how a successful analyst can help patients to utilise mourning for past troubles to move them forward to a lasting change for the better, emotionally, psychically and erotically. The author also tackles the controversial issue of spirituality in psychoanalysis, and explores how psychoanalysis can help patients come to terms with difficult issues in a time of great psychic and spiritual disturbance. These themes are brought to life via two richly detailed case studies.

Table of Contents

Contents: A New Metapsychology for Clinical Phenomenology and Psychic Health, A Phenomenological Theory of Developmental Mourning. Mourning as Explicit and Implicit in Psychoanalytic Theory: Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Ronald Fairbairn. Mourning as Implicit and Explicit in Psychoanalytic Theory: John Bowlby, Michael Balint, and D.W. Winnicott. The Case of June: Finding a New Identity through the Mourning of Traumatic Loss and Guilt, Primal Rage, and Poignant Regret. The Case of June, Part I: A Mournful and Spiritual Journey: Spiritual and Sexual Evolution. June's Evolution in Later Years of Treatment: Transformation through Mourning in Developmental, Transference, and Life Change Terms. Seven Generations of Grief: The Case of Phillip. The Case of Phillip, Part II: The Spiritual Evolution. The Case of Laura: Mourning as the Poetry of Female Eroticism: Homoerotic Evolutions of a Lesbian Woman within Developmental Mourning. The Case of Laura, Part III: Strands and Cycles of Mourning and Unrequited Love: Modes of Mourning. Mourning and Creativity: A Journey through a Male Artist's Development. The Divine, the Deviant and the Diabolical: A Journey through a Female Artist's Paintings During Her Participation in a Creative Process Group: An Evolution of Developmental Mourning (previously published in the International Forum of Psychoanalysis).

About the Author

Dr Susan Kavaler-Adler, a psychologist psychoanalyst for twenty-eight years, is the Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is the author of more than forty articles, and two books, including The Creative Mystique (Routledge 1996).

Subject Categories

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