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Recent Publications

border.jpg (Preview)Living on the Border: Psychotic Processes in the Individual, the Couple, and the Group

Editors: David Bell & Aleksandra Novakovic (bpf )

Publisher: Karnac Books Published: 2013

This book centres on the problem of psychosis, understood from a psychoanalytic perspective, as it manifests itself in different contexts and different levels of organisation: from the individual psychoanalytic session, through work with couples, groups and institutions and wider levels of social organisation. Beginning with a discussion of the psychoanalytic approach to psychosis centring on the work of Freud, Klein and the Post-Kleinians, it goes on to cover individual, couple and group therapy with psychotic patients. It draws on clinical material and theoretical discussion to explore the links between psychotic processes on different levels. This work is aimed at different professionals working within the psychodynamic frame of reference: individual psychotherapists, couple and family and group psychotherapists; organisational consultants and trainees in different therapies. As well as this it will be a useful resource to nurses, doctors and social workers who work with very disturbed patients and wish to learn about psychotic processes.

'A comprehensive exploration of some of the most puzzling and intransigent mental states that clinicians encounter ; “Ground breaking” is often an over-used and clichéd term, ...but in the case of this book, it constitutes a fair description, one most unusual in the professional literature hitherto.'
- Margot Waddell, author of Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of the Personality

'A wide ranging collection showing the immense value of a psychoanalytic approach to severe psychological disorder- Never could a need for a book like this be more urgent than at our current juncture.'
- John Steiner, author of Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organisations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients and Seeing and Being Seen: Emerging from a Psychic Retreat

Petrified.jpg (Preview) The Petrified Ego: A New Theory of Conscience

Author: Elizabeth Reddish

Publisher: Karnac Books Published: 2013

Due to the inherent contradiction in Freud’s concept of the Superego, there is a gap in our psychoanalytic understanding of how conscience evolves. This distinction is essential for the successful treatment of patients dominated by a harsh Superego and provides valuable insight into how contemporary society evaluates moral decisions.

The Petrified Ego argues for a revision of psychoanalytic theory to include instinct as the primary form of morality. It makes the case that our earliest, infantile notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is rather founded on experiences which have been ‘safe or ‘threatening’. More often than not, this is the basis of our moral judgement of others.

‘The Petrified Ego is not only a scholarly, imaginative book on the relationship of the ego to the superego, but it is also very timely. I found the book very impressive.’ – Ronald Britton

‘Elizabeth Reddish joins scholarship with clinical acumen and her book will engage readers with sociological, philosophical, and clinical interests.’ – Karl Figlio

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The Topic of Cancer

Editor: Jonathan Burke

Publisher: Karnac Books Published: 2013

Topic of Cancer begins with Freud's cancer, widely known of but rarely understood in its historic and analytic context. Psychotherapeutic reflections are then offered on our understanding of the adult and adolescent with cancer, and the challenges of sustaining a thoughtful presence in the face of the trauma experienced when a child is diagnosed with cancer, and during treatment. The dilemmas and challenges faced by today's psychotherapist with cancer are explored next and, for the first time in cancer literature, an account of the emotional demands on nurses involved in sensitive, intimate care. With an increasing number of people living longer with cancer, “survivorship” and palliative care are the focus of the chapters that follow.

‘This is an extremely valuable book. Despite all improvements in outlook and changes in attitude towards it, cancer still faces those who suffer from it, and those who care for and are close to them, with a unique challenge. This book helps to meet that challenge on many levels. Rooted in psychoanalytic understanding, it is at the same time multifaceted. It brings together outstanding contributions from medical, psychological, and spiritual perspectives and shows the creativity that those confronting cancer may discover in themselves. The chapters are impressive individually, and taken together they offer a fresh and rich view of the “topic of cancer”. Truly a book to be grateful for.’
— Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society; author of The Dove That Returns: The Dove That Vanishes: Paradox and Creativity in Psychoanalysis

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Uncertainties, Mysteries, Doubts: Romanticism and the Analytic Attitude

Author: Robert Snell

Publisher: Karnac Books Published: 2013

What is it to listen? How do we hear? How do we allow meanings to emerge between each other?

This book is about what Freud called freely or evenly suspended attention, a form of listening, a kind of receptive incomprehension, which is fundamental and mandatory for the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The author steps outside the usual parameters of psychoanalytic writing and explores how works of art and literature which elicit and require such listening began to appear in Europe, in abundance, from the late eighteenth-century onwards.

Uncertainties, Mysteries, Doubts is a timely reminder, in the present era of audit and manualisation, of some of psychoanalysis's deep and living cultural roots. It hopes- by immersing the reader in the emotional, critical and contextual worlds of some artists and poets of Romanticism - to help psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and counsellors in the endless challenge of staying open to their clients and patients, faced as we all are, therapists and clients alike, by multiple pressures to knowledgeable closure.

Coming soon ... a full list of books by bpf members

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