Psychic Retreats by John Steiner
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Psychic Retreats
By John Steiner

Psychic Retreats

Pathological Organisations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients

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Introduction by Roy Schafer See other recent books by Roy Schafer
Format: Paperback

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Psychic Retreats by John Steiner

Book Description

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415099240
ISBN-10: 0415099242
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 13mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Dec-1993
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author John Steiner

Rosenfeld in Retrospect by John Steiner Rosenfeld in Retrospect, Paperback (June 2008)

How has Herbert Rosenfeld contributed to psychoanalysis? This book reproduces some of Rosenfeld's most important clinical writings. It also brings together papers and discussions by Rosenfeld's well-known contemporaries, Ronald Britton, Michael Feldman, Hanna Segal and Riccardo Steiner who explore his contribution to psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis, Literature and War by John Steiner Psychoanalysis, Literature and War, Paperback (January 1997)

A collection of writings which show how the same conflicts between life and death instincts, fantasy and reality, are experienced in the consulting room, reflected in literature, and demonstrated by nations in their attitudes to war.

» View all books by John Steiner


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Author Biography - John Steiner

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

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