The Dead Mother brings together original essays in honour of André Green. Written by distinguished psychoanalysts, the collection develops the theme of his most famous paper of the same title, and describes the value of the dead mother to other areas of clinical interest: psychic reality, borderline phenomena, passions and identification.
The concept of the 'dead mother' describes a clinical phenomenon, sometimes difficult to identify, but always present in a substantial number of patients. It describes a process by which the image of a living and loving mother is transformed into a distant figure; a toneless, practically inanimate, dead parent. In reality, the mother remains alive, but she has psychically 'died' for the child.
This produces a depression in the child, who carries these feelings within him into adult life, as the experience of the loss of the mother's love is followed by the loss of meaning in life. Nothing makes sense any more for the child, but life seems to continue under the appearance of normality.
The Dead Mother is a valuable contribution to literature on psychoanalytic and psychotheraputic approaches to grief, loss and depression.
Table of Contents
Preface, Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. The Greening of psychoanalysis 3. Psychic reality, negation, and the analytic setting 4. The dead mother syndrome and the reconstruction of trauma 5. Dead Mother, dead child 6. The undead: necromancy and the innner world 7. Analysing forms of aliveness and deadness of the transference-contertransference 8. The dead mother: variations on a theme 9. Taking aims - Andre Green and the pragmatics of passion 10. The interplay of identifications: violence, hysteria, and the repudiation of femininity. 11. The dynamics of the history of psychoanalysis - Anna Freud, Leo Rangell, and Andre Green 12. The intuition of the negative in playing and reality. Biographical Notes.
Gregorio Kohon is a Training Analyst at the British Psychoanalytical Society. He works in private practice in London.
"Readers will find this a valuable book - for the lively dialogue between Green and Kohon, its return to Green's major paper 'The dead mother', for the individual authors' impressive responses to it, and for the glimpse of the walls in the present psychoanalytic scene, which Green has both run up against and surmounted." - Edna O'Shaughnessy, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82 (3), 2001