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Haase, E.K. (2015). Nothing Good is Allowed to Stand: An Integrative View of the Negative Therapeutic Reaction, edited by Léon Wurmser and Heidrun Jarass, Routledge, London, 2013, 224 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 43(4):651-655.

(2015). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(4):651-655

Book Reviews

Nothing Good is Allowed to Stand: An Integrative View of the Negative Therapeutic Reaction, edited by Léon Wurmser and Heidrun Jarass, Routledge, London, 2013, 224 pp.

Review by:
Elizabeth K. Haase, M.D.

“[Artistic temperament] sometimes seems to me to be a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling—”

—Madeleine L'Engle (A Severed Wasp, p. 135)

The dark angel of destruction undoing therapeutic progress is the subject of this beautifully curated and outstanding book about the negative therapeutic reaction (NTR), edited and written by Léon Wurmser and long-time collaborator Heidrun Jarass, with additional contributions by Jorg Frommer, Mathias Hirsch, Joseph Lichtenberg, Shelley Orgel, Anna Ornstein, Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, and Gerd Schmithusen.

Part of the Psychoanalytic Inquiry series, Nothing Good is Allowed to Stand is both stellar and stellate in construction. The introduction offers a summary of the NTR that does not get bogged down in any one perspective, highlighting how shame, guilt, jealousy, envy and spoiling, and narcissistic motivations underlie the NTR across theoretical schools, then reviewing both these schools and important individual articles about the NTR in the psychoanalytic literature.

“The passion for destruction is also creative passion.”

—Mikhail Bakunin (1842, p. 57)

Almost all of the authors cited emphasize the protective and positive functions of the NTR.

[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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