“Self Psychology and Psychosis: The Development of the Self During Intensive Psychotherapy…’

There are many pathways to recovery, but one thing people have often been told does not work for “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” is intensive psychotherapy.

But many of those who research the effectiveness of such therapy, and those who practice it, would beg to differ.  (You can also hear the voices of two recipients of such therapy who speak out in Daniel Mackler’s film which you can watch on youtube, “Take These Broken Wings.”)

Self Psychology is one Self Psychologyapproach to intensive psychotherapy.   On Friday June 5, 2015, at 6:30 PM Eastern Time, there will be an opportunity to hear directly from, and interact with, Ira Steinman and David Garfield, who will be speaking about this approach during an online meeting/webinar.

Ira and David will be discussing their new book, “Self Psychology and Psychosis:  The Development of the Self During Intensive Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia and other Psychoses.”

This meeting is sponsored by ISPS-US, which does request a small donation for the meeting from non-members, but does not turn away anyone who can’t afford to or doesn’t want to pay.

Read on for more information about the book, and how to register for the meeting:

In this groundbreaking volume, David Garfield and Ira Steinman bring us into the immediacy of the analyst’s consulting room in direct confrontation with the thought disorder, delusions and hallucinations of their patients grappling with psychosis. From the early days of psychoanalysis when Freud explicated the famous Schreber case, analysts of all persuasions have brought a variety of theories to bear on the problem of schizophrenia and the other psychoses. Here, as William Butler Yeats notes, “the centre cannot hold” and any sense of self-esteem – positive feelings about oneself, a continuous sense of self in time and a functional coherence and cohesion of self – is shattered or stands in imminent danger.””

What makes psychoanalytic self psychology so compelling as a framework for understanding psychosis is how it links together the early recognition of narcissistic impairment in these disorders to the “experience-near” focus which is the hallmark of self psychology. Now, with Garfield and Steinman’s descriptions of healing in the mirroring, idealizing and twinship experiences of treatment, the theory of self psychology, in a comprehensive fashion, is brought to bear on the psychoses for the very first time.

Join Garfield and Steinman as they bring the reader into these analytic journeys, inspired by Kohut and his followers and crafted with their own original insights as patients find their way back to a meaningful and functional existence.

At the end of a very moving tale of the treatment of a psychotic woman, the patient tells the therapist, “You’ve given me my life.” The therapist, one of the authors of this book, replies, “Thanks. It’s been a gift to both of us.” So, too, one must thank the authors of Self Psychology and Psychosis for the gift given to readers of this volume that employs the theory of self psychology to guide and to better understand the psychotherapy of psychoses.
Arnold Goldberg, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Rush Medical College; training and supervising analyst, the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis; author of The Brain, the Mind, and the Self: A Psychoanalytic Roadmap

This book should be firmly recommended to all teams of mental health professionals who come into contact with the more severely mentally ill, especially those who experience psychosis. Through a number of examples, the text demonstrates clearly how substantive numbers of those who are currently readily regarded as suffering from chronic disorders, especially schizophrenia, can in fact be helped to substantially recover and live satisfying lives through modern forms of skilled psychodynamic psychotherapy. The book focuses on the damage to the self and how this can be repaired in psychosis, especially using concepts from self psychology.
Dr Brian Martindale, Chair of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis

In an era of somatic and medication treatments, David Garfield and Ira Steinman have reminded us of the importance of listening to our patients with empathy and understanding, even those patients who are psychotic and disorganized. They remind us to see our patients as whole persons. Inside this volume, you will read how these experienced authors and clinicians empathize, query, interpret, and confront the whole patient. These skilled therapists demonstrate with captivating stories how, by making patients feel understood, patients can make huge advances in their recovery and healing. I highly recommend Self Psychology and Psychosis.
Renée Binder, MD, Professor and Director, Psychiatry and Law Program, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, President-Elect, American Psychiatric Association

David Garfield and Ira Steinman use a series of evocative and compelling case examples to illustrate how the principles of self psychology can be effectively applied in intensive psychotherapy with psychotic patients. Their fascinating and instructive presentation is an invaluable guide to productive clinical work with disturbed patients who too often are mistakenly judged to be beyond the reach of talking therapies.
Owen Renik, MD, former Editor, Psychoanalytic Quarterly; training and supervising analyst, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Center

Please do register at https://selfpsychologyandpsychosis.eventbrite.com if you want to attend!

About Ron Unger

I am a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who works with people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, using a respectful and skill building approach called cognitive therapy for psychosis. I also talk and teach seminars related to this approach. You can read more about me and about how I became interested in this field at http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/about-ron-unger/personal-steps-toward-a-revolution-in-mental-health-care/
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