Seeds of Illness, Seeds of Recovery: The Genesis of Suffering and the Role of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Seeds of Illness, Seeds of Recovery

The Genesis of Suffering and the Role of Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

By Antonino Ferro


144 pages

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Illustrated with richly detailed clinical vignettes, Seeds of Illness, Seeds of Recovery offers a fascinating investigation into the origins, modes and treatment of psychical suffering.

Antonino Ferro provides a clear account of his conception of the way the mind works, his interpretation of the analytic understanding of psychopathology, his reconceptualization of the therapeutic process, and implications for analytic technique derived from his view of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis.

Drawing on and developing the ideas of Wilfred Bion, Ferro gives a unique perspective on subjects including:

  • Container Inadequacy and Violent Emotions
  • The waking dream and narrations
  • 'Evidence': starting again from Bion
  • Self-analysis and gradients of functioning in the analyst.

This highly original approach to the problem of therapeutic factors in psychoanalysis will be of interest to all practising and training psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.


"What gives the book its special character is its skilful weaving together of a rigorous theoretical stance with the enjoyable, communicative skills displayed in his clinical work, and which one seems to witness in person, as though crouching in a corner of the analyst's mind. It is not easy to describe Ferro's writing skills, which are like those of a great musician who can allow himself the virtuosities while never for a moment forgetting, or lessening, the technical clarity of his performance." - Anna Ferruta, International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Table of Contents

Ogden, Foreword. Seeds of Illness and the Role of Defences. The Culture of Reverie and the Culture of Evacuation. Container Inadequacy and Violent Emotions. Nachträglichkeit and the Stork: The Analytic Field and Dream Thought Clinical Illustration. The Waking Dream and Narrations. 'Evidence': Starting Again from Bion. From the Tyranny of the Superego to the Democracy of Affects: The Transformational Passage Through the Analyst's Mind. Self-analysis and Gradients of Functioning in the Analyst. Pivotal-age Crises and Pivotal-event Crises. Psychoanalysis and Narration. Bibliography.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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