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Stine, J.J. (2015). The Silent Past and the Invisible Present: Memory, Trauma and Representation in Psychotherapy, by Paul Renn, Routledge, New York, 2012, 213 pp., $41.95.. Psychodyn. Psych., 43(1):157-160.

(2015). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(1):157-160

The Silent Past and the Invisible Present: Memory, Trauma and Representation in Psychotherapy, by Paul Renn, Routledge, New York, 2012, 213 pp., $41.95.

Review by:
John J. Stine, M.D.

The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas R. Insel, M.D. (2014) recently asserted that a new approach to the classification of mental disorders was necessary. “The question,” he stated, “is simply whether psychiatry is ready to embrace contemporary biology, cognitive science and social science to augment the reliable assessment of signs and symptoms” (p. 397).

For those interested in whether contemporary biology, cognitive science, and social science can augment and enhance psychotherapeutic theory and practice, Paul Renn's book, The Silent Past and the Invisible Present: Memory, Trauma and Representation, will be a rewarding experience.

The author is a practicing psychotherapist, a teacher and training supervisor at the London Center for Attachment-Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. In this book, he describes a relational psychotherapeutic approach not just to victims of intimate partner abuse but to their abusers, the overwhelming majority of whom have suffered combinations of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse during childhood that predisposed them to become severely emotionally disordered, impulsive, and violent adults. His treatment model is based on an integration of relationally oriented psychodynamic theory, attachment theory, and a large body of empirical and clinical research in cognitive and developmental psychology, attachment disorders, trauma studies, infant-parent research, and neuroscience. In addition, he offers case material illustrating the practical application of this model.

The title of this book reflects the author's interest in the role of implicit or procedural memory as the matrix in which infant-caretaker interactions become encoded as the attachment patterns that effect subsequent personality, emotional and cognitive development.

[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.]

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