The Metaphor of Play : Origin and Breakdown of Personal Being book cover
3rd Edition

The Metaphor of Play
Origin and Breakdown of Personal Being

ISBN 9781583919675
Published September 28, 2005 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

Personality disorder can be conceived as the result of a disruption on the development of self. This thoroughly updated edition of The Metaphor of Play examines how those who have suffered such disruption can be treated by understanding their sense of self and the fragility of their sense of existence.

Based on the Conversational Model, this book demonstrates that the play of a pre-school child, and a mental activity similar to it in the adult, is necessary to the growth of a healthy self. The three sections of the book - Development, Disruption and Amplification and Integration - introduce such concepts as the exceptional field, paradoxical restoration, reversal, value and fit, and coupling, amplification and representation.

This highly readable and lucid presentation of the role of play in the development of self will be of interest not only to therapists but also to those interested in the larger issues of mind and consciousness.

Table of Contents

Gabbard, Foreword. Part I: Development. Play and the Sense of Self. The Secret. The Self as Double. I and the Other. The Role of Toys. Two Playrooms. Fragments of Space and of Self. Play, Coherence and Continuity. Value and Fit. Part II: Disruption. Body Feeling and Disjunction. Stimulus Entrapment. Transference and Trauma. Reversals. The Expectational Field. Restoration. Impasse: Paradoxical Restoration. False Self. The Mask. Part III: Amplification and Integration. A Drive to Play. Coupling, Amplification and Representation. Empathy. Dissolving the Trauma. A Self Organising System.

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Featured Author Profiles

Author - Russell Ainslie Meares

Russell Ainslie Meares

Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Learn more about Russell Ainslie Meares »


In my Opinion The metaphor of play is a profoundly important book by one of the greatest contemporary thinkers and researchers in the field of psychotherapy. - Dougal Steel, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry