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Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients: Pathological Organisations in Psychotic, Neurotic and ... Patients (The New Library of Psychoanalysis) [Paperback]

John Steiner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Dec 1993 0415099242 978-0415099240 First Edition

Essentially clinical in its approach, Psychic Retreats discusses the problem of patients who are 'stuck' and with whom it is difficult to make meaningful contact. John Steiner, an experienced psychoanalyst, uses new developments in Kleinian theory to explain how this happens.

He examines the way object relationships and defences can be organized into complex structures which lead to a personality and an analysis becoming rigid and stuck, with little opportunity for development or change. These systems of defences are pathological organisations of the personality: John Steiner describes them as 'psychic retreats', into which the patient can withdraw to avoid contact both with the analyst and with reality.

To provide a background to these original and controversial concepts, the author builds on more established ideas such as Klein's distinction between the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, and briefly reviews previous work on pathological organizations of the personality. He illustrates his discussion with detailed clinical material, with examples of the way psychic retreats operate to provide a respite from both paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxieties. He looks at the way such organizations function as a defence against unbearable guilt and describes the mechanism by which fragmentation of the personality can be reversed so the lost parts of the self can be regained and reintegrated in to the personality.

Psychic Retreats is written with the practising psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in mind. The emphasis is therefore clinical throughout the book, which concludes with a chapter on the technical problems which arise in the treatment of such severely ill patients.


Frequently Bought Together

Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients: Pathological Organisations in Psychotic, Neurotic and ... Patients (The New Library of Psychoanalysis) + Seeing and Being Seen: Emerging from a Psychic Retreat (New Library of Psychoanalysis) + Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change: Selected Papers of Betty Joseph
Price For All Three: 83.47

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; First Edition edition (2 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415099242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415099240
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 17.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"All practitioners at times struggle with the pathologically organised mind and will be relieved and heartened by this book, and those students who complain that the authors of clinical papers never declare what they actually say in sessions will find nothing to grumble about." - British Journal of Psychotherapy

"This is a very clearly and concisely written book about patients who are very difficult to reach. Its great strength lies in the way that Steiner convincingly brings together detailed clinical description and the theoretical concepts informing his work ... I wholeheartedly recommend it to a wide readership." - Chris Mawson

About the Author

John Steiner is a member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and a Consultant Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A psychic retreat provides the patient with an area of relative peace and protection from strain when meaningful contact with the analyst is experienced as threatening. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended 31 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This work by Steiner has much in common with the theories outlined in Rosenfield's work in 'Impasse and Interpretation'. Both deal with apparently 'stuck' patients in psychotherapeutic treatment and both explore the aspects of the mental structures leading to this 'stuckness'. I have found this book invaluable in work with personality disordered (especially narcissistic) individuals, as well as in a broad range of other disorders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting place 1 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating discourse on the notion of the internal world that subsumes consciousness at times of great stress; a sort of traumatised never never land that often replaces reality for the most emotionally disturbed and damaged individuals in society. However this book wants to help us understand this process normatively, and so be better able to accept and work therapeutically with its defensive pragmatism rather than label it simply as abnormal phenomena, and in this it suceeds very well. I highly recommend this book for anyone working in mental health
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to trainees and practising therapists. 2 Mar 2014
By John. Wayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a practising therapist studying Kleineian analysis I found this book instructive and accessible. It explained some of the reactions I see with my clients in practice.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book for anyone interested in psycholanalysis and post Kleinian thought 13 April 2013
By roxie persi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Steiner is a clear writer and provides helpful clinical application for working with individuals that have succumb to pathological personality organization.It certainly helped me have a greater view of my patients struggles as well as my own in the face of the traumas of childhood and relationships.
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