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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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

Solomon, B. (2020). Book Review of Claudia Heilbrunn’s “What Happens When The Analyst Dies: Unexpected Terminations In Psychoanalysis” What happens when the analyst dies: unexpected terminations in psychoanalysis, edited by Claudia Heilbrunn, New York, Routledge, 2020, $39.95 (Paperback). Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 15(1):110-111.

(2020). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 15(1):110-111

Book Reviews

Book Review of Claudia Heilbrunn’s “What Happens When The Analyst Dies: Unexpected Terminations In Psychoanalysis” What happens when the analyst dies: unexpected terminations in psychoanalysis, edited by Claudia Heilbrunn, New York, Routledge, 2020, $39.95 (Paperback)

Review by:
Brenda Solomon, M.D.

Heilbrunn’s 2009 collection of personal essays offer an important addition to the sparse literature on analysts’ deaths and the resultant impact on patients. Remarkably poignant, all these accounts are well written in an experience-near manner. The variety of contributions offers multiple viewpoints on the relationship between the patient and analyst in circumstances where the death and/or serious illness of an analyst complicates, disrupts, or ends treatment.

The book is divided into two major parts: First, memoir-like honest accounts of patients, all therapists or analysts, who have lost one or more analyst from illness or accidental death. The second part features practitioners who became the replacement analyst facing the many challenges treating grieving patients. Sufficient analytic process is offered so the reader can follow the course of treatment. The accounts provide empathy for both the grieving patient and the second analyst. Finally, there are two contributions about how analytic institutions have failed. Specific recommendations are offered about what should be done to protect patients and candidates.

I anticipated my reading these accounts would be familiarly sad as I have been a practicing therapist for more than 50 years having witnessed many colleagues’ and patients’ illnesses and deaths. Unexpectedly, I had a renewed sense of wonder at how different individuals with distinct aptitudes, backgrounds, psychic vulnerabilities, and sensibilities have grabbled with these enormous psychological challenges.

[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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