Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living examines how psychoanalysts can draw on their training, reading, and clinical experience to help their patients address some of the recurrent challenges of everyday life. Sandra Buechler offers clinicians poetic, psychoanalytic, and experiential approaches to problems, drawing on her personal and clinical experience, as well as ideas from her reading, to confront challenges familiar to us all.
Buechler addresses issues including difficulties of mourning, aging, living with uncertainty, finding meaningful work, transcending pride, bearing helplessness, and forgiving life's hardships. For those contemplating a clinical career, and those in its beginning stages, she suggests ways to prepare to face these quandaries in treatment sessions. More experienced practitioners will find echoes of themes that have run through their own clinical and personal life experiences. The chapters demonstrate that insights from a poem can often guide the clinician as well as concepts garnered from psychoanalytic theory and other sources. Buechler puts her questions to T. S. Eliot, Rainer Maria Rilke, Elizabeth Bishop, W. S. Merwin, Stanley Kunitz and many other poets and fiction writers. She "asks" Sharon Olds how to meet emergencies, Erich Fromm how to live vigorously, and Edith Wharton how to age gracefully, and brings their insights to bear as she addresses challenges that make frequent appearances in clinical sessions, and other walks of life.
With a final section designed to improve training in the light of her practical findings, Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living is an essential book for all practicing psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists.
1. Capacity for Aloneness and Relationship: Love between Two Solitudes
3. Healthy Aging
4. Cognitive, Emotional, and Interpersonal Sources of Resilience
5. Bearing Uncertainty, Upholding Conviction, and Maintaining Curiosity
6. Finding Meaningful Work and Nourishing Interests
7. Transcending Pride, Shame, and Guilt: Some Sources of Feelings of Insufficiency
9. Societal and Personal Attitudes about Suffering: Conclusions and Speculations
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.