Nothing Good Is Allowed to Stand

An Integrative View of the Negative Therapeutic Reaction

Edited by Léon Wurmser, Heidrun Jarass

© 2013 – Routledge

224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415531993
pub: 2012-08-20
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About the Book

Work with patients with severe neuroses very often has to cope with the phenomenon that every progress in the analytic or therapeutic work is followed paradoxically by a clinical deterioration. There are a number of dynamic factors that converge to bring about this negative therapeutic reaction, including many-layered guilt and shame, aspects of envy and jealousy, attachment to negative affects, turning trauma from passive to active, conflicts within the superego, and the defensive use of omnipotence of responsibility.

In Nothing Good Is Allowed to Stand,Wurmser, Jarass, and their colleagues consider these and other factors insightfully, such as the extent to which traumatization lives on in self-directed aggressions of the superego in the claim of omnipotence; the significant role of deep conflicts between opposite values and loyalties in bringing about the prohibition of anything "good" and thus of the negative therapeutic reaction in particular and masochism in general; and the extent to which envy, jealousy, and resentment can be encountered in the "inner object," the "inner judge" (i.e., the superego), and how they are directed against the self.

Table of Contents

Wurmser, Negative Therapeutic Reaction and the Compulsion to Disappoint the Other. Orgel, On Negative Therapeutic Reaction. Schmithuesen, "Time That No One Can Count, Always Begins Anew": Thoughts Concerning the Function and Meaning of the So-called Negative Therapeutic Reaction from the Perspective of Time Standing Still. Hirsch, Negative Therapeutic Reaction in the Light of Object Relations Theory. Jarass, "I Have to Destroy Everything I Love": Totalitarian Conscience—Acted Out and Understood. Frommer, "Omnipresence," a Masked Cause of Negative Therapeutic Reaction: Considerations on the Long Shadow of Totalitarian Repression. Schmidt-Hellerau, The Anxiety in the Negative Therapeutic Reaction. Ornstein, The Negative Therapeutic Reaction Revisited. Bornstein, An Addition to the Psychoanalytic Understanding of the Negative Therapeutic Reaction and Clinical Masochism.

About the Editors

Léon Wurmser, M.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Freudian Society. His publications include The Power of the Inner Judge (Jason Aronson, 2000), Jealousy and Envy (with Heidrun Jarass; Analytic Press, 2007), and Torment Me, but Don't Abandon Me! (Jason Aronson, 2007). He maintains a private practice in Towson, MD.

Heidrun Jarass, M.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalysis of the German Psychoanalytic Society, Nurnberg. A psychoanalyst in private practice, she has been active in psychoanalytic research, focusing on the psychodynamic processes in supervision, and has presented her work with severely ill patients at international meetings. She co-edited (with Leon Wurmser) Jealousy and Envy (Analytic Press, 2007).

About the Series

Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series

Like its counterpart, Psychoanalytic Inquiry: A Topical Journal for Mental Health Professionals, the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series presents a diversity of subjects within a diversity of approaches to those subjects. Under the editorship of Joseph Lichtenberg, in collaboration with Melvin Bornstein and the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, the volumes in this series strike a balance between research, theory, and clinical application. We are honored to have published the works of various innovators in psychoanalysis, such as Lachmann, Fosshage, Stolorow, Orange, Sander, Wurmser, Grotstein, Jones, Brothers, Busch, and Lichtenberg, among others. 

The series includes books and monographs on mainline psychoanalytic topics, such as sexuality, narcissism, trauma, homosexuality, jealousy, envy, and varied aspects of analytic process and technique.  In our efforts to broaden the field of analytic interest, the series has incorporated and embraced innovative discoveries in infant research, self psychology, intersubjectivity, motivational systems, affects as process, responses to cancer, borderline states, contextualism, postmodernism, attachment research and theory, medication, and mentalization. As further investigations in psychoanalysis come to fruition, we seek to present them in readable, easily comprehensible writing.

After 25 years, the core vision of this series remains the investigation, analysis and discussion of developments on the cutting edge of the psychoanalytic field, inspired by a boundless spirit of inquiry.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSY036000
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health