The Presence of the Absent: Therapy with Families and their Ghosts

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Routledge, Jun 26, 2015 - Psychology - 128 pages
Where live our most cherished (or painful) memories? Where do our beloved (or dreaded) exist when departed? In the gray zone between our self and our world, they can exist as internal reminiscences for some and striking images for others; individually or collectively perceived and interacted; vividly or as tenuous presences.
This book familiarizes us with six examples of individuals and families in therapy who live and interact with the presence of their absent, pivotal people in their lives who either died or disappeared, but are still there. It familiarizes us with their plight in a tender, compassionate style, describing in detail interviews and therapeutic transformations and, in several cases, follow-ups as well as echoes of those processes. It teaches us to respect those presences as well as how to help families and individuals treasure them...and in many cases to let them go.
Written in a vivid, intense language, The Presence of the Absent offers a marvelous insight into these processes that may prove transformative for the therapist (both family and individually-oriented), as well as enlightening to the general public.
 

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Contents

1 Ethereal Presences
1
Semantic and Somatic Effects of Political Repression in a Family with a Hole in its Center
10
Ghosts of a Dictatorship and Reverberations in a Liberating Process
34
Culture Migration and Developmental Cycle in a Moroccan Family Overtaken by Ghosts
45
When Therapists Trade Curiosity for Certainty
68
The Awakening of Two Ghost Children
80
7 Saudades at the Edge of the Self and the Merits of Portable Families
89
8 Wrap Up
100
References
105
Index
110
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About the author (2015)

Carlos E. Sluzki, M.D. is Professor Emeritus of Global and Community Health and of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and Professor (Clinical) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine. He is an internationally renowned psychiatrist and family therapist who trained in both Argentina and the United States.

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