The Taming of Solitude: Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Taming of Solitude

Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

By Jean-Michel Quinodoz


224 pages

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Winner of the 2010 Sigourney Award!

Psychoanalysts would argue that at the root of anxiety about loneliness, which commonly brings people into analysis, lies anxiety about separation, unresolved since childhood.

When re-experienced in analysis, the painful awareness of solitude - the sense of being a separate person - can become a rich source of personal creativity. In The Taming of Solitude, Jean-Michel Quinodoz brings together the views of Freud, Klein, Hanna Segal, W.R.D. Fairbairn, D.W. Winnicott, Anna Freud, Margaret Mahler, Heinz Kohut, John Bowlby and others, presenting a comprehensive approach to the experience of loneliness, a universal phenomenon which can be observed in everyday life and in any therapeutic situation.

Written with clarity and insight, The Taming of Solitude will be of great interest to all psychoanalysts and therapists.


"The Taming of Solitude is well written and a pleasure to read. … The many paragraph headings allow the reader space to pause and think, and there is a comprehensive bibliography and index. It is an authoritative account of separation anxiety and the ample clinical material gives a glimpse into how Quinodoz works with it. It will certainly be of interest to anyone working with analytical ideas and to interested readers in general." - British Journal of Psychotherapy

"The Taming of Solitude (La Solitude Approivsee) is an important work, not only because it provides a precise presentation of the subject and of the existing views on it … but also because it shows us a psychoanalyst at work, with his concepts, hopes, difficulties and - in a fascinating parallel to the subject of the book - his creative solitude." - J Manzano, Psychoanalysis in Europe

"The author proposes that we reflect on the precious concept of 'buoyancy' ('portance') which he has created to describe the state of the patient who has sufficiently internalized the capacity of the analyst to carry him so that he is able to start carrying himself on his own … This is a fundamental condition for the taming of solitude and loneliness so that the analysis can leave not only the analyst but also the analysis, and can transfer the experience he has obtained from analysis to his own life … This is what this beautiful book teaches us". - Cleopatre Athanassiou, Rev. Franc. Psychoanal

Table of Contents

Segal, Foreword. Part One: Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalytic Practice. Separation Anxiety in Transference Phantasies. Separation Anxiety Illustrated by a Clinical Example. Approaches to the Interpretation of Separation Anxiety. Part Two: The Place of Separation Anxiety and Object-loss. Freud, Separation Anxiety and Object-loss. The Views of Melanie Klein and her School on Separation Anxiety and Object-loss. The Place of Separation Anxiety and Object-loss in the Other Main Psychoanalytic Theories. Part Three: Technical Considerations. Transference Interpretations of Separation Anxiety. Physical Pain and Negative Transference. Acting Out and Separation Anxiety. The Psychoanalytic Setting and the Container Function. Part Four: The Taming of Solitude. Termination of the Analysis and Separation Anxiety. The Capacity to be Alone, Buoyancy and the Integration of Physical Life. Recapitulation and Conclusions. Bibliography. Name Index. Subject Index.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health