Anatomy of Regret has a highly clinical focus, with cases that illustrate how critical psychic change can emerge from the mourning of the grief of "psychic regret". This book highlights the developmental achievement of owning the guilt of aggression, and of tolerating insight into the losses one had produced. The author uses the term "psychic regret" to capture the essence of the process of facing regret consciously. This is in contrast to the split-off and persecutory dynamics of unconscious guilt. Unconscious guilt exposes itself through visceral and cognitive impingements, which are related to internal world enactments, and it relies on unconscious avoidance of the pain and loss involved in facing psychic regret. The author's theory of "developmental mourning" is illustrated in this book through in-depth lively clinical processes (cases and vignettes).
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Introduction -- Developmental transformation of aggression within mourning -- Conscious regret in clinical treatment engendering a critical turn towards love and creativity, healing a schizoid woman and her family: the case of Sharon -- From crime to regret: an affect-level view of psychic transformation and the capacity to love -- Tolerable and intolerable regret: clinical transformation of the intolerable into the tolerable -- Facing the ghost of failures in mothering. Regret evolving into love and play: the case of Anastasia, Part I -- The interaction of negative transference and the mourning of regrets in psychic transformation: the case of Anastasia, Part II -- The grief of regret motivating commitment to marriage in a woman: Sarah's extramarital affair -- The grief of regret allowing commitment in marriage in the man: the case of Oscar -- Conclusion