The Consulting Room and Beyond

Psychoanalytic Work and Its Reverberations in the Analyst's Life

By Therese Ragen

Foreword by Donnel Stern

© 2008 – Routledge

168 pages

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Paperback: 9780881634723
pub: 2008-09-09
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Hardback: 9780881634716
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

The Consulting Room and Beyond is not a typical example of clinical writing in the field of psychoanalysis. Therese Ragen, pushing the boundaries of the genre, thoughtfully explores in a very immediate way the intersubjective nature of psychoanalysis, particularly looking at the role of the psychoanalyst’s subjectivity, both how it influences and is influenced by the psychoanalytic relationship. The profound ways in which analyst and patient affect each other are captured as the author moves from a moment with a patient, to one of her own memories, to a dream, to a professional consultation and back to the session with the patient. Ragen’s detailed descriptions of her subjective experiences and clinical skill help to weave the anecdotes into a compelling narrative, worthy of the attention of theorists, academics and clinicians alike.

Reviews

"Ragen's ability to seamlessly integrate the deeply felt rhythms of her internal life with those of her patients and the larger psychoanalytic community will resonate with seasoned and novice therapists, alike. Through the lens of nuance, detail and deep compassion within these three interconnected worlds, she offers a unique clarity of mind with which to confront core issues of knowledge, engagement and connection." - Lewis Aron, Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA

"In Therese Ragen's The Consulting Room and Beyond, literary non-fiction now includes a model of personal psychoanalytic writing of such mastery that I could easily retitle her book "Portrait of the Artist as Psychoanalyst." Through a series of gripping and evocative personal essays Ragen liberates the image of psychoanalytic treatment from its time-worn mythology of being an objective technique that holds special power to discern hidden truths inadvertently revealed by another’s unguarded speech. By lifting the veil from an analyst’s vulnerability to the unbidden but inevitable intrusiveness of her life history into the clinical relationship, Ragen’s blend of therapeutic sophistication, personal candor, and breathtaking writing illuminates the truth of what is most fundamental to being an effective psychotherapist – one's openness to being a human being." - Philip M. Bromberg, author, Standing in the Spaces: Essays on Clinical Process, Trauma, and Dissociation and Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys

"A work of generosity, sensitivity and intelligence. Therese Ragen provide a luminous window into a vibrant and mesmerizing world. Every page of The Consulting Room and Beyond speaks to the poignancy and beauty of being alive." - Carole Maso, Professor of Literary Arts, Brown University, USA

Table of Contents

Stern, Foreword. Legacy. September 11, 2001. Longing. Ferenczi and the Case of Matt. Harold and Uncle Frank. Success. Kate.

About the Author

Therese Ragen, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst practicing in Manhattan. She is a Clinical Professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Therese has published her own creative nonfiction work in the Northwest Review, the Texas Review, the Palo Alto Review and in Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

About the Series

Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series

When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.

The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.

But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.

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Subject Categories

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