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Shaddock, D. (2019). A UNIVERSE BETWEEN MY HAT AND BOOTS: WHITMAN’S SELF AS A MODEL FOR EMPATHIC CONNECTION. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 14(3):323-333.

(2019). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 14(3):323-333

A UNIVERSE BETWEEN MY HAT AND BOOTS: WHITMAN’S SELF AS A MODEL FOR EMPATHIC CONNECTION

David Shaddock, Ph.D., M.F.T.

The Poems of the great American poet Walt Whitman are herein considered as a guide to psychoanalytic treatment. Whitman’s expanded sense of self is described and compared to other, modern and postmodern views. The exquisite intimacy Whitman shows to everything in the world is compared to contemporary relational perspectives. Whitman’s empathy, in which he becomes the people he is describing, is viewed as a model for psychotherapy. His view of the body as the seat of the soul is compared to contemporary views of “embodied psychoanalysis.” Whitman’s view of trauma and loss, especially as it pertained to the Civil War, is described. A case vignette of a couple in which a Whitmanesque view of an expanded view of each partners’ self guided the therapist’s response concludes the paper.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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