Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kelly, K.V. (2012). Beyond the Reach of Ladders. By Elizabeth Goren. London: Open Gate Press, 2011. 257 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 81(4):1020-1024.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 81(4):1020-1024

Beyond the Reach of Ladders. By Elizabeth Goren. London: Open Gate Press, 2011. 257 pp.

Review by:
Kevin V. Kelly

The fact that this book is not intended as a work of psychoanalytic scholarship is evident even from the subtitle: “My story as a therapist forging bonds with firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11.” The informal, personal style of this phrase continues throughout the text, and the usual trappings of scholarly publication—footnotes, citations, bibliography, index—are absent. The intended audience is clearly the lay public, people familiar with the events of September 11 but not especially knowledgeable about either firefighting or psychoanalytic therapy.

The work might best be classified as a “psychoanalytic memoir,” and therein lies a problem. Prospective lay readers are likely to be attracted more by the prospect of reading about the 9/11 experience of firefighters than about that of therapists, but the book focuses at least as much on the author and her story, from childhood to the present, as it does on the firefighters. The first sentence announces “I am a New York City psychoanalyst” (p. 1), establishing both the first-person focus and the author's emphasis on her psychoanalytic identity. Later she specifies her allegiance to “the Interpersonal Relational School,” characterized by the belief that “countertransference reactions can end up being therapeutic” (p. 183), apparently implying that other contemporary analysts would not share this belief.

Despite this distortion, Goren presents a very attractive, if somewhat romanticized, vision of analysis to the lay reader:

My patient and I bond in a way that eases the pain and isolation of human separateness, as we search together for the unforeseen ways that the past wends its way into the present, and create new paths for a more fulfilling future. [p. 1]

One might ask, then, what picture this work as a whole gives the lay reader of the psychoanalyst. Such a question would have to be subdivided, because the analyst in this case is both an actor in the drama and the author of the report. We should examine how the analyst appears as a therapist and as a reporter.

In

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.