1st Edition

The Shadow of the Tsunami and the Growth of the Relational Mind

By Philip M. Bromberg Copyright 2011
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    During early development, every human being is exposed to the relative impact of relational trauma – disconfirmation of aspects of oneself as having legitimate existence in the world of others – in shaping both the capacity for spontaneous human relatedness and the relative vulnerability to "adult-onset trauma." To one degree or another, a wave of dysregulated affect – a dissociated "tsunami" – hits the immature mind, and if left relationally unprocessed leaves a fearful shadow that weakens future ability to regulate affect in an interpersonal context and reduces the capacity to trust, sometimes even experience, authentic human discourse.

    In his fascinating third book, Philip Bromberg deepens his inquiry into the nature of what is therapeutic about the therapeutic relationship: its capacity to move the psychoanalytic process along a path that, bit by bit, shrinks a patient's vulnerability to the pursuing shadow of affective destabilization while simultaneously increasing intersubjectivity. What takes places along this path does not happen because "this" led to "that," but because the path is its own destination – a joint achievement that underlies what is termed in the subtitle "the growth of the relational mind."

    Expanding the self-state perspective of Standing in the Spaces (1998) and Awakening the Dreamer (2006), Bromberg explores what he holds to be the two nonlinear but interlocking rewards of successful treatment – healing and growth. The psychoanalytic relationship is illuminated not as a medium for treating an illness but as an opportunity for two human beings to live together in the affectively enacted shadow of the past, allowing it to be cognitively symbolized by new cocreated experience that is processed by thought and language – freeing the patient's natural capacity to feel trust and joy as part of an enduring regulatory stability that permits life to be lived with creativity, love, interpersonal spontaneity, and a greater sense of meaning.

    Schore, Foreword. Preface. Part I: Affect Regulation and Clinical Process. Shrinking the Tsunami. Part II: Uncertainty. "It Never Entered My Mind." "Mentalize This!" Minding the Dissociative Gap. Part III: Stumbling Along and Hanging In. Truth and Human Relatedness. If This Be Technique, Make the Most of It! "Grown-up" Words: A Perspective on Unconscious Fantasy. Part IV: The Reach of Intersubjectivity. "The Nearness of You": A Personal Book-end.


    A preeminent writer on the understanding of trauma and dissociative phenomena, Philip M. Bromberg, Ph.D., is author of Standing in the Spaces: Essays on Clinical Process, Trauma, and Dissociation (Analytic Press, 1998), Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys (Analytic Press, 2006), and The Shadow of the Tsunami: and the Growth of the Relational Mind (Routledge, 2011). He is Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute, and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Emeritus Co-Editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Dr. Bromberg serves on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Psychoanalytic Inquiry. He lectures widely, and is actively involved in the training of mental health professionals nationally and internationally.

    " The Shadow of the Tsunami is an evolving expansion on Philip Bromberg’s two previous books: Awakening the Dreamer (2006) and Standing in the Spaces (1998)—the link between everything and nothing! Nevertheless, The Shadow of the Tsunami—filled as it is with delicious content about clinical process that challenges the status quo, challenges us to bring our best selves to our work—can be read as a stand-alone text"- Jennifer Rodriguez, Attachment Journal, November 2014

    "Bromberg, a master writer, presents his experience and perspective examining normal pathological dissociation in a most readable manner. His clinical examples are lucid and interesting, demonstrating well his understanding and perspective. He clearly outlines his models of dissociation, emphasizing the importance of activation of what he calls ‘not-me’, self-states of consciousness, both in life and in therapy." –Journal of Analytical Psychology

    "Bromberg’s theory of trauma, dissociation and enactment is a valuable contribution to clinical psychoanalysis. Most psychoanalysts, I believe, will find much in this book that expands their understanding of, and ability to work effectively with, all patients, particularly those of whom trauma plays a central part in their mental life." The International Journal of Psychoanalysis

    "In The Shadow of the Tsunami, Philip Bromberg has made it clear why he is widely regarded as the doyen of relational psychoanalysis. He speaks to the process of healing and growth like no one else. His writing comes to life so powerfully that you don't just hear his words but virtually participate in what is taking place between and within each partner. The late Stephen A. Mitchell called his writing 'unique jewels' – how Mitchell would have appreciated this new book! More than ever, Bromberg bridges domains that for othe