2nd Edition

The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy Erotic Transference and Boarding School Syndrome

By Joy Schaverien Copyright 2020
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy is a powerful account of love and death within a psychotherapeutic relationship. The narrative traces one man’s journey in psychotherapy and that of the analyst who accompanies him.

    The full-length description of an analysis demonstrates the developmental path of an erotic transference from its origins in infancy, through fantasies of sex and violence to mature erotic intimacy. The countertransference is considered with exceptional honesty as the analysis intensifies following the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. A series of dreams rich in symbolic imagery traces the psychological situation as death approaches. A precursor to Schaverien’s acclaimed book Boarding School Syndrome, the single case study demonstrates the enduring impact of early boarding. This second edition also includes an updated literature review, and new material regarding training and supervision, making it a valuable resource for training institutions.

    The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, counsellors, arts therapists and all professionals working with the dying. The poignant story will also engage the general reader, curious about the process of psychotherapy. 

    Part 1:   1. Psychotherapy with the Dying Patient   2. Intimacy Revealed: Establishing a Therapeutic Relationship  3.The House and Boarding School: Intimacy and Exile  Part 2:  4. Dreams  5. Dreams and Diagnosis  6. Dreams and the Erotic Transference  7. The Erotic Transference and Countertransference  8. Sexual Attractions and Erotic Violence: Men Who Leave Too Soon Revisited  9. The Inner-World Parents: The Paternal Function and the Maternal Realm  10. Talking about Love, Sex and Death  Part 3: 11. Boundaries and the Bereavement of Dying  12. Envy, Contamination and Countertransference  13. The Link Between Psychotherapy and Cancer  14. The Problems of Ending When the End is Death  Part 4:  15. Breakdown, Boundaries and Hospital  16. The Hospice and Medication  17. Home  18. Supervision, Training and Countertransference Bereavement: Research Questions


    Joy Schaverien is a Jungian Psychoanalyst, a Training Analyst with the Society of Analytical Psychology (London) and a member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology. Her many publications include the best-selling Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged’ Child (Routledge 2015).

    "The author is a wonderful story teller and the journey she describes is an excellent representation of the experiences of a psychoanalyst working effectively with a dying patient. She captures the challenges of this special analytic situation and describes the counter transferences that treating a dying patient elicits exceptionally well. She recommends supervision to aid the analyst with the problematic counter transference reactions. She also recommends flexibility with regard to the analytic frame and a focus on the here and now of the patient’s struggle to live. Finally she permits the relationship to become more real by revealing more about her reactions to the work but with great care not to burden the patient with her grief." 

    Norman Straker MD,  DLFAPA, Clinical Professor Weill Cornell  Department of Psychiatry, Consultant at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    "This…excellent book…combines in a unique way theoretical issues, clinical insights, analytic technique, therapeutic skills in the context of a most moving and human story of life, love and death. This book is the finest example of Joy Schaverien’s characteristic style of writing which includes all these facets of an analytical encounter in a touching and most readable way."

    Professor Renos Papadopoulos, Jungian psychoanalyst, University of Essex and Tavistock clinic

    "A detailed account of a successful psychoanalysis with a dying patient… Because death is an extreme event that brings all of life into focus, Dr Schaverien’s examples of transference and dream interpretations reach far beyond the case she recounts. I recommend this book to any psychotherapist who wants to understand the therapeutic uses of the erotic transference."

    Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD, author of Women and Desire, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Jung

    "Once again, Joy Schaverien has provided a brilliant combination of a rarely discussed subject, the case of a dying patient in psychoanalysis, together with an in depth examination and commentary of psychoanalytic theory and practice. Joy includes exploration and analysis of dreams, a Jungian perspective, throughout the analysis. Her valuable modern up-dated theories of boarding school trauma, and of course her expertise on countertransference and erotic transference. This 2nd edition surpasses the first in all respects and will appeal to experienced practitioners, trainees from many professions and populations, and participants in therapy."

    Professor Helen Odell-Miller OBE, PhD, Director of The Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research Anglia Ruskin University

    Reviews from the first edition

    "The importance of this book lies in bringing work with the dying into the mainstream of our work ... This humane and careful text is a tribute to the courage of both Schaverien and [the client] and a gift for the reader."

    Jeremy Weinstein, BACP-registered trainer, UKCP Gestalt psychotherapist: Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal


    '"... Joy Schaverien has risked having her heart … as well as her technique and intellect, open for scrutiny in a way that is both brave and inspiring ... One of the most instructive aspects of this book is that it enables the reader to enter into a detailed account of the management of an intense, at times merged, involvement with a patient, whilst being provided with intermittent glimpses of how the analyst's mind is working, how she is building her frame, and patrolling the boundaries ... The book is well structured. Its clear chapter headings and sub-headings, as well as a chronological list of the patient's dreams, are containing and form a useful reference guide.'"

    Hilary Lester, Training Analyst with the Society of Analytical Psychology: Journal of Analytical Psychology

    "In this book Joy Schaverien has given us one of the most moving accounts of an analysis that I have encountered ... she demonstrates a considerable gift for explaining the analytical process in terms that are accessible to the well-educated lay person in a way that does not detract from the account for the professional clinician ... I found the dream material and the way in which it was presented particularly moving and thought-provoking. I liked the way in which each dream was presented in its own right and the reader was given the opportunity to think about it, before encountering the patient's associations and the analyst's comments ... The book from first to last chapter contains a deeply moving and sensitive account of the analyst's inner process of holding the analytical frame in the most adverse of circumstances... this is a book, that …should not be missed."

    Margaret Wilkinson, retired Training Analyst with the Society of Analytical Psychology, Author of Coming into Mind: Journal of the West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy