Inner Torment: Living Between Conflict and Fragmentation

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Jason Aronson, 1999 - Psychology - 318 pages
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Can hope be pathological? What is love? How are envy and arrogance related to hatred? What is the optimal distance between the self and others? Why are some individuals excessively vulnerable to nostalgia? What are the distinctions between a need and a wish? Such questions frequently arise as one encounters individuals whose difficulties originate from an area between psychotic and neurotic organizations and yet who are not overtly borderline. How does one meet their ego needs without gratifying their regressive wishes? Do affirmative interventions work better than interpretive ones when the patient is in deep emotional turmoil? Integrating diverse psychoanalytic traditions with his own theoretical and clinical insights, Salman Akhtar provides answers to these and other important questions in this realm. He weaves the existing conceptual schisms and technical diversity into an integrated theory and technique. In a truly original contribution, he delineates certain ubiquitous human fantasies (e.g., "someday" and "if only" fantasies of optimism and nostalgia, and fantasies of powerful psychic tethers that bind us to others) and shows how their pathological variants underlie the suffering of these patients.
 

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Contents

OBJECT CONSTANCY
3
AGGRESSION
29
FEELINGS
63
LOVE
65
HATRED
95
FRICTIONS
127
KOHUT VERSUS KERNBERG
129
NEEDS VERSUS WISHES
165
FANTASIES
203
SOMEDAY AND IF ONLY FANTASIES
205
TETHERS ORBITS AND INVISIBLE FENCES
235
REFERENCES
271
CREDITS
309
INDEX
311
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Salman Akhtar, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College, Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the Book Review Editor of the Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, an associate edi-tor of the Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, past member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, and an editorial reader for Psychoanalytic Quarterly. He is the author of Broken Structures: Severe Personality Disorders and Their Treatment (1992) and Quest for Answers: A Primer for Understanding and Treating Severe Personality Disorders (1995). His more than 130 scientific publications also include thirteen edited or co-edited books. Dr. Akhtar is the recipient of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association's Award (1995) and the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize (1996), and was named the 1998 Clinician of the Year by IPTAR, New York. He has also published five volumes of poetry.

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