Book Announcement by Sandra Buechler (USA)
Psychoanalytic Reflections: Training and Practice (IPB Books, 2017) addresses some of the questions that have preoccupied me throughout my career. What are the basic assumptions that shape analytic training programs, regardless of theoretical orientations? How can we best prepare candidates to face the challenges of a life in practice today? What stresses can lead to burnout over the span of an analytic career? What are some of the roots of the sense of professional inadequacy that can delimit the accomplishments and satisfactions of clinicians?
In addition to these training related issues, the book looks at specific feelings that play important roles in practice. For example, how can clinicians best bear the inevitable sorrows and lonely moments that inhere in analytic experience? How might we keep hope alive, over the span of lengthy, complicated, emotionally troubling treatments? What are some of the joyous moments the beginning clinician might expect to have?
In gathering this collection of papers, lectures, and commentaries, I took the opportunity to reflect on the common threads, as well as the changes in my thinking over the years from 1988-2015. For me, the book is a kind of professional autobiography. I have always been interested in the role of emotions in treatment, and the rest of life. But, over time, my conception of the effect of one central aspect of life, the experience of mourning, has shifted somewhat. Early on I had a more sanguine view of what can be retained, even in the face of the most severe losses. Lately, in my personal life as well as my clinical experience, I am more focused on what is irrevocably gone.
Basically, I see loss as challenging us to “love life anyway,” despite its inevitable pain. For me, my relationship with life itself, as well as all my other relationships, ask this of me. For all of us, how can we love (ourselves, each other, life) anyway? And how can we bring this part of our experience of being human into our work as analysts?
Sandra Buechler, PhD
155 West 70th Street, 11F
New York, N.Y. 10023 USA
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