Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Passion : Meanings and Manifestations in the Clinical Setting and Beyond book cover
1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Passion
Meanings and Manifestations in the Clinical Setting and Beyond

ISBN 9781138562516
Published December 11, 2017 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

Passion! The word brims with and exudes power, movement, intensity, vitality, desire, and fulfillment. Its multifaceted meanings include eroticism, rage, sex, suffering, drive, commitment, dedication, and love. On the one hand, it embodies a quality to be embraced and lived fully, to make life meaningful and worthwhile. On the other, it is sometimes to be treated with suspicion, reined in, subjected to the dictates of reason. While it brightens existence and its departure makes life dull, many passions may prove unbearable. 

The manifold connotations of passion make it highly relevant to psychoanalysis, yet, so far, no book has explored the many facets of this pervasive theme. This book provides a comprehensive guide that will sensitize readers to the omnipresent importance of passionate emotion in the clinical setting, and throughout all areas and times of life. It bursts with thought-provoking ideas. Challenging cases are illuminated by penetrating reflections and novel applications and combinations of theoretical perspectives.

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Passion explores the many ways in which very strong emotions – passions – can be understood and worked with in clinical contexts. The contributions cover such key topics as psychosis and violence, emotions in childhood, sexuality, secure and insecure attachments, the role of passion in seeking meaning, passion and transition space, and transference and countertransference.

This book will be of great help to all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists struggling to assist patients (and perhaps themselves) in locating their passions, channeling and expressing them in meaningful ways, and overcoming obstacles to their fulfillment.

Table of Contents

Introduction Rebecca Coleman Curtis and Lori C. Bohm Dangerous Liasons: Encountering Erotic and Psychotic Passion  Chapter 1: The Pole Dancer: Dancing on the Edge of Boundary Violations Robert Akeret Chapter 2: I Love You to Death Silvia Fiammenghi Sexuality and Attachment Security Chapter 3: What do I Really Want? Passion and Attachment Amira Simha-Alpern & Alma Krupka Klein Chapter 4: What’s Love Got to do with it? Sexual Passion and Attachment in Psychoanalysis Mary Beth Cresci Chapter 5: Seduced and Abandoned: Attachment Theory, Dissociated Passion, and the Mutative Impact of the Analyst’s Maternal Embrace Linda Jacobs Chapter 6: Lessons in Romance from Middle-Aged Men who have had Affairs: The Link between Security and Sexuality Bruce Herzog Seeking Meaning, Individuation and Fulfillment Chapter 7: Moments of Passion Michael Stern Chapter 8: The Marriage of Intimacy and Meaning: A Psychoanalytic-Meditative Approach to Feelings Jeffrey Rubin Chapter 9: Mother-Daughter Love: A Passionate Attachment Gone Awry Lori C. Bohm Passions in Childhood Chapter 10: Passion Across the Developmental Spectrum Marcelo Rubin Chapter 11: Passion for Pink: Colorfully Contemplating Transgender Identity Brent Willock Overcoming Obstacles to Passion Chapter 12: Passion Precluded: Irrelationship and the Costs of Co-Created Psychological Defenses Mark B. Borg, Jr., Grant H. Brenner, & Daniel Berry Chapter 13: On States of Resignation and Retreat: Musings on Passion, Com-Passion and Being Ionas Sapountzis Chapter 14: D.O.A.: The Murder of Passion Julie Lehane Chapter 15: Relationships: Wanted Dead or Alive Gail White & Michelle Flax Chapter 16: Passion Past in the Present: Dyadic Traumatic Reenactment in Psychoanalytically: Informed Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors Heather MacIntosh Using Transitional Space, Dreams, and Groups to Release Passion Chapter 17: Lars and the Real Girl: Play and Passion in the Birth of the Self Art Caspary Chapter 18: Passion (or Past-shunned): The Use of Fantasy to Recreate Past Loving and Sexual Self Experiences in the Present David Braucher Chapter 19: Passionate Links: Clinical Notes on Containing Trauma and Reawakening Hope from Despair (Matthew Tedeschi) Chapter 20: A Relational View of Passion and the Group Robert Watson Passion for Psychoanalysis: Its Essence, Process and History Chapter 21: The Analyst’s Passion and the Other Asymmetry Sarah Turnbull Chapter 22: My Passion for the Origins of Psychoanalysis Carlo Bonomi Chapter 23: Fire in the Belly: Can Love for Psychoanalysis Last? Sandra Buechler Conclusion Pursuing and Containing Passion Lori C. Bohm

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Brent Willock is Founding President of the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Board Member of the Canadian Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and on the faculty of the Institute for the Advancement of Self Psychology.

Rebecca Coleman Curtis is Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University, Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute, and Supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies.

Lori C. Bohm is Supervising Analyst, Faculty, and former Director at the Center for Applied Psychoanalysis and Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Programs at the William Alanson White Institute. She is Psychotherapy Supervisor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at the City University of New York.


"The antithesis between reason and passion is as old as human thought. Reason tends to benign but oddly bloodless results: passion to intense but often-disastrous outcomes. This agonistic contrast necessarily pervades psychoanalytic thinking and, although implicit in the earliest psychoanalytic terminology—drive, ego, super-ego, death instinct— seems to have become vitiated in our current expansions of theory and practice. This wide-reaching and magisterial book redresses this issue. Passion, in all its clinical ramifications, is explored by a very eclectic and sophisticated spectrum of therapists. It should be of great interest and value to anyone, in or out of the field, for its sophisticated and enlightening exploration of what is ultimately at the root of the human dilemma."-Edgar A. Levenson, M.D, Fellow Emeritus, Training, Supervisory Analyst and Faculty at the William Alanson White Institute; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology, NYU Graduate Studies Division.