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Javier, R.A. (2002). Trauma, Repetition, and affect Regulation: The Work of Paul Russell: Judith Guss Teicholz and Daniel Kriegman (Eds.), New York: Other Press, 1998, 154 pp., $22.00.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 19(2):409-415.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 19(2):409-415

Trauma, Repetition, and affect Regulation: The Work of Paul Russell: Judith Guss Teicholz and Daniel Kriegman (Eds.), New York: Other Press, 1998, 154 pp., $22.00.

Review by:
Rafael Art. Javier, Ph.D., ABPP

I came across an interesting book on the work of Paul Russell, a gifted analyst and intellectual who remained relatively unknown to many of us during his lifetime. He died recently, and we would have been deprived of getting to know the work of such an important intellectual of psychoanalytic thinking if it had not been for the fortunate decision by Drs. Teicholz and Kriegman to compile his work and the responses to his basic thesis by many prominent analysts who knew his work. We do not have to agree with his basic ideas to be impressed with what comes across in the different chapters presenting his core ideas on trauma and affect regulation. Coming from an interpersonal and relational perspective, Paul Russell's thinking also includes clear references to the basic tenets of Freudian thinking, intersubjectivity, and other theoretical perspectives. It is his belief that we need to listen closely to the patient's communication in all its permutations and intensity to appreciate fully the very nature of the patient's internal plight and psychic dilemma, the nature of the trauma, and the like. He allowed himself to venture into different theoretical formulations, which he felt could add to his understanding of the clinical phenomenon, rather than being webbed to a basic theoretical perspective. His thinking is, indeed, quite refreshing and liberating when one appreciates its application to the actual clinical data.

The book is divided into two basic sections: The first two chapters present Russell's view on, and are titled, “The Role of Paradox in the Repetition Compulsion” and “Trauma and the Cognitive Function of Affects.”

[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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