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In his conception of love, as well as his psychology of sin read narcissism and pride , doctrine of grace, and perseverance in the face of suffering, Marcus sees a notion of happiness and a dimension of experience that goes beyond how analysts dare to conceptualize. According to Marcus, the wisdom traditions—in facing the ultimate nature of existence—make three claims. The world is more integrated and harmonious than it seems, better than it appears to be, and more mysterious than we can comprehend. And from these flows another insight, that in adding onto them the ethical behavior and view of an ideal life and conception of human virtue these traditions offer a mode of being in the world of joy and enthusiasm for life that has the potential to be lasting i.

Finally, Marcus suggests how some of this wisdom can be integrated into psychoanalysis. Like these traditions, psychoanalysis has a value-informed perspective about what constitutes the ideal human life and of what works against it.

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As a starting point, analysts need to be clear about their values and those of their theories, and to be informed, knowledgeable, and culturally sensitive to the spiritual and religious values and strivings of patients. Moreover, Marcus suggests psychoanalysis can augment its secular view by cultivating a sensibility that is open to transcendence, and he proposes several themes whereby this could be done. A second theme refers to problems of control and how to cope with the contingencies with which life besets us. Though analysis has a sense of adaptation to reality, Marcus suggests the spiritual sensibility that includes notions of mystery, forbearance, suffering, finitude, surrender, hope, divine meaning, and redemption—which may possibly be more helpful to some patients.

The last theme is the quest for transcendence, an overarching framework of ultimate meaning, significance, and purpose. As a discipline, psychoanalysis can develop a less reductionistic spiritual hermeneutics.

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And in an inspiring finale, he calls on analysts to be open to the sacred aspect of the work of analysis and to the possibility that the mechanism of change in some cases may include an act of grace connected to the mystery of being or mystery of life itself. This is indeed a rewarding book and if it is fair to expect a book with wisdom and spirituality in its title to possess some, then Marcus more than meets that expectation. To stay within a religious metaphor, to me as a reader, he is preaching to the converted, for I share his vision of psychoanalysis as a hermeneutic enterprise and a grand one at that—he is willing to take up the ultimate existential questions he defines.

As a reviewer, however, and even a believer, I have some caveats I offer to him and other readers to consider. I agree with him that the days of a unified theory or model within psychoanalysis are over, and that there are irreconcilable claims regarding the human condition. Sandler and Dreher , in writing about the problem of aims in psychoanalytic therapy concluded the literature cannot be brought together into a single definition. But I am not sure such diversity constitutes a crisis for psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis in its diversity of theory and practice and outlook will stand or fall on its own merits. And just as Marcus and others argue with validity that psychology should no longer approach religion with a reductionistic view, I think that point is valid within psychology itself in honoring the diversity and multiplicity of visions. In other words, the hermeneutic approach is not contradictory to but complementary to an empirical approach that emphasizes reason and is interested in insight or information more than in transformation.

As psychoanalysis and religion are reintroduced to each other, we need to pause and consider what is the most constructive engagement between them. Of four possibilities, conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration under a higher-level conceptualization, I think Marcus in this book draws a compelling illustration of integration. While Marcus shows what religion can offer to psychoanalysis, psychoanalysis has much to offer in return e. Nowhere is that more evident than in taking up what he calls the dark side of religion.


Given his aims, Marcus justifiably left this out of his book, though he did allude to it in several places, in references to the evil that can be done in the name of religion, to a fundamentalist or literal view, or to absolute notions of truth and morality. In exposing these dangers, psychoanalysis maintains its value not only to analysts and analysands, but also to society as a whole. I recommend it highly for those already interested in this topic and for those seeking to learn more about what has too long been neglected by the analytic community.

Marcus, P. From this basis they set out a theory about aims which is extremely relevant to clinical practice today, discussing the issues from the point of view of the conscious and unconscious processes in the psychoanalyst's mind. Besides presenting a concise history of psychoanalysis, its conflicts and developments, which will be of interest to a wide audience of those interested in analysis, this book makes important points for the clinician interested in researching his or her practice. Search all titles. Search all titles Search all collections.


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They are primarily concerned with the human development and needs of the individual, with an emphasis on subjective meaning, a rejection of determinism , and a concern for positive growth rather than pathology. This is the goal of existential therapy.

Ancient Religious Wisdom, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis (Book Review)

Existential therapy is in turn philosophically associated with phenomenology. Person-centered therapy , also known as client-centered, focuses on the therapist showing openness, empathy and "unconditional positive regard", to help clients express and develop their own self. Derived from various influences, including an overhaul of psychoanalysis, it stands on top of essentially four load-bearing theoretical walls: phenomenological method , dialogical relationship, field-theoretical strategies, and experimental freedom.

Insight-oriented psychotherapies focus on revealing or interpreting unconscious processes. Most commonly referring to psychodynamic therapy , of which psychoanalysis is the oldest and most intensive form, these applications of depth psychology encourage the verbalization of all the patient's thoughts, including free associations , fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst formulates the nature of the past and present unconscious conflicts which are causing the patient's symptoms and character problems.

There are six main schools of psychoanalysis, which all influenced psychodynamic theory: [73] Freudian, ego psychology , object relations theory , self psychology , interpersonal psychoanalysis , [74] [75] and relational psychoanalysis. Behavior therapies use behavioral techniques, including applied behavior analysis also known as behavior modification , to change maladaptive patterns of behavior to improve emotional responses, cognitions, and interactions with others. Functional analytic psychotherapy is one form of this approach.

By nature, behavioral therapies are empirical data-driven , contextual focused on the environment and context , functional interested in the effect or consequence a behavior ultimately has , probabilistic viewing behavior as statistically predictable , monistic rejecting mind-body dualism and treating the person as a unit , and relational analyzing bidirectional interactions. Cognitive therapy focuses directly on changing the thoughts, in order to improve the emotions and behaviors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy attempts to combine the above two approaches, focused on the construction and reconstruction of people's cognitions , emotions and behaviors. Generally in CBT, the therapist, through a wide array of modalities, helps clients assess, recognize and deal with problematic and dysfunctional ways of thinking, emoting and behaving.

The concept of "third wave" psychotherapies reflects an influence of Eastern philosophy in clinical psychology , incorporating principles such as meditation into interventions such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , acceptance and commitment therapy , and dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder. Interpersonal psychotherapy IPT is a relatively brief form of psychotherapy deriving from both CBT and psychodynamic approaches that has been increasingly studied and endorsed by guidelines for some conditions.

It focuses on the links between mood and social circumstances, helping to build social skills and social support. Systemic therapy seeks to address people not just individually, as is often the focus of other forms of therapy, but in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups, their patterns and dynamics includes family therapy and marriage counseling.

Community psychology is a type of systemic psychology. The term group therapy was first used around by Jacob L. Moreno , whose main contribution was the development of psychodrama , in which groups were used as both cast and audience for the exploration of individual problems by reenactment under the direction of the leader.

The Process, Benefits, and Possible Downsides of Psychoanalytic Therapy

The more analytic and exploratory use of groups in both hospital and out-patient settings was pioneered by a few European psychoanalysts who emigrated to the US, such as Paul Schilder , who treated severely neurotic and mildly psychotic out-patients in small groups at Bellevue Hospital, New York. The power of groups was most influentially demonstrated in Britain during the Second World War, when several psychoanalysts and psychiatrists proved the value of group methods for officer selection in the War Office Selection Boards.

A chance to run an Army psychiatric unit on group lines was then given to several of these pioneers, notably Wilfred Bion and Rickman, followed by S. Foulkes , Main, and Bridger.

What Is Psychoanalytic Therapy?

The Northfield Hospital in Birmingham gave its name to what came to be called the two "Northfield Experiments", which provided the impetus for the development since the war of both social therapy, that is, the therapeutic community movement, and the use of small groups for the treatment of neurotic and personality disorders. Today group therapy is used in clinical settings and in private practice settings. Expressive therapy is any form of therapy that utilizes artistic expression as its core means of treating clients.

Expressive therapists use the different disciplines of the creative arts as therapeutic interventions. This includes the modalities dance therapy , drama therapy , art therapy , music therapy , writing therapy , among others.

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  5. What Psychoanalysts Want Problem Aims by Dreher Anna Ursula Sandler Joseph.
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  8. Expressive therapists believe that often the most effective way of treating a client is through the expression of imagination in creative work and integrating and processing what issues are raised in the act. Also known as post-structuralist or constructivist. Narrative therapy gives attention to each person's "dominant story" by means of therapeutic conversations, which also may involve exploring unhelpful ideas and how they came to prominence.

    Possible social and cultural influences may be explored if the client deems it helpful.