The Therapist as a Person : Life Crises, Life Choices, Life Experiences, and Their Effects on Treatment book cover
1st Edition

The Therapist as a Person
Life Crises, Life Choices, Life Experiences, and Their Effects on Treatment

Edited By

Barbara Gerson

ISBN 9780881633573
Published July 1, 2001 by Routledge
326 Pages

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Book Description

In this collection of powerfully illuminating and often poignant essays, contributors candidly discuss the impact of central life crises and identity concerns on their work as therapists. With chapters focusing on identity concerns associated with the body-self (body size, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age), urgent life crises, and defining life circumstances, The Therapist as a Person exemplifies the myriad ways in which the therapist's subjectivity shapes his or her interaction with patients. Included in the collection are life events rarely if ever dealt with in the literature: the death of family members, late pregnancy loss, divorce, the failure of the therapist's own therapy, infertility and childlessness, the decision to adopt a child, and the parenting of a profoundly deaf child.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Barbara Gerson
I. Current Life Crises of Therapists
1. Death of a Psychoanalyst's Child - Barbara Chasen
2. More Human than Otherwise: Working Through a Time of Preoccupation and Mourning - Eric M. Mendelsohn
3. Trauma and Disruption in the Life of the Analyst: Enforced Disclosure and Disequilibrium in "The Analytic Instrument" - Andrew P. Morrison
4. An Analyst's Pregnancy Loss and Its Effects on Treatment: Disruption and Growth - Barbara Gerson
5. Reflections of a Childless Analyst - Lynn Leibowitz
6. Chloe by the Afternoon: Relational Configurations, Identificatory Processes, and the Organization of Clinical Experiences in Unusual Circumstances - Michael A. Civin and Karen L. Lombardi
7. The Ongoing, Mostly Happy "Crisis" of Parenthood and Its Effect on the Therapist's Clinical Work - Claire Basescu
8. Thank You for Jenny - Jesse D. Geller
9. When the Therapist Divorces - Peter J. Schlachet
10. The Impact of Negative Experiences as a Patient on My Work as a Therapist  - Sue N. Elkind
II. Childhood Life Crises and Identity Concerns of Therapists
11. The Effects of Sexual Trauma on the Self in Clinical Work - B. F. Stevens
12. The Loss of My Father in Adolescence: Its Impact on My Work as a Therapist - Susan C. Warshaw
13. Psychoanalysis In and Out of the Closet - Mark J. Blechner
14. Different Strokes, Different Folks: Meanings of Difference, Meaningful Differences - Naomi Rucker
15. The Therapist's Body in Reality and Fantasy: A Perspective from an Overweight Therapist  - Jane B. Burka
16. Working as an Elder Analyst - Helen May Strauss
Afterword  - Stephen A. Mitchell

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"We are indebted to the authors of these stirring essays for sharing with us their particular, courageous struggles to alloy profoundly personal experiences with their deep commitment as therapists to their patients' well-being and development."

- Irwin Z. Hoffman, Ph.D., Author, Ritual and Spontaneity in the Psychoanalytic Process (Analytic Press, 2001)

"I found it an enormously moving and inspiring book. The contributors communicate cogently -- in action, by example--so much that we have been struggling to talk about in the psychoanalytic literature. They deserve our congratulations and gratitude."

- Owen Renik, M.D., San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute