This book is of and about psychoanalytic stories. It describes the personal, theoretical, and cultural stories that patients and analysts bring, create, and modify in analytic work. It shows how the joint creation of new life narratives over time results in transformed senses of self and relationship.
Flowing from the tradition of narrative theory, these stories seek to recast the creation of analytic narratives in social contexts and contemporary relational theories. They depict ongoing therapeutic process and heightened interactive events and moments that together expand personal scope and change life directions for both partners in the analytic dyad. Its stories illuminate sometimes difficult and arcane analytic theory, bringing the meanings and utility of theory into living action. They also show how familiar emotions such as love, hate, envy, and loneliness, and active human values such as empathy, generosity, and good faith function in psychoanalytic interaction. In short, these analytic stories are useful teaching tools.
The narrative tales in this book address a wide range of history and emotions in both patients and analyst. The patients, fictionalized characters from a lifetime of analytic practice, are protagonists with backgrounds of trauma, loss, relational and geographical dislocation, but also successful adaptations and struggle toward self-development. Some of their stories describe intense short-term work and others long-term analytic relationships. The subjective experience and responses of the analyst are also central parts of the analytic fictions.
The book will be invaluable to readers curious about psychoanalysis, for therapists, and especially for teachers of therapeutic issues and process.