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The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy Desire, Dreams and Individuation by Joy Schaverien

The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy Desire, Dreams and Individuation


The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy Desire, Dreams and Individuation by Joy Schaverien

The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy is powerful account of love and death within a therapeutic relationship. The narrative traces one man's journey and that of the analyst who accompanies him. Following on from Joy Schaverien's highly- acclaimed previous books, this full length description of an analysis demonstrates the developmental path of an erotic transference from its origins in infancy, through fantasies of sex and violence, to mature erotic intimacy. The countertransference is considered with exceptional honesty as the analysis intensifies following the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. A series of dreams, rich in symbolic imagery, traces the psychological situation as death approaches. This book is essential reading for analysts, psychotherapists, counsellors, arts therapists, and all professionals working with the dying. The compelling narrative will also fascinate the general reader. It is practical, theoretical, and imaginative and all, whether expert or new to the subject, will be inspired as the process of individuation is revealed.


'This...excellent book...combines in a unique way theoretical issues, clinical insights, analytic technique, therapeutic skills in the context of a most moving and human story of life, love and death. This book is the finest example of Joy Schaverien's characteristic style of writing which includes all these facets of an analytical encounter in a touching and most readable way.' - Professor Renos Papadopoulos, Jungian Psychoanalyst, University of Essex and the Tavistock Clinic 'A detailed account of a successful psychoanalysis with a dying patient... Because death is an extreme event that brings all of life into focus, Dr Schaverien's examples of transference and dream interpretations reach far beyond the case she recounts. I recommend this book to any psychotherapist who wants to understand the therapeutic uses of the erotic transference.' - Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD, author of Women and Desire, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Jung 'The importance of this book lies in bringing work with the dying into the mainstream of our work...This humane and careful text is a tribute to the courage of both Schaverien and [the client] and a gift for the reader.' - Jeremy Weinstein, BACP-registered trainer, UKCP Gestalt psychotherapist, Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal '...Joy Schaverien has risked having her heart and perhaps her soul also, as well as her technique and intellect, open for scrutiny in a way that is both brave and inspiring...One of the most instructive aspects of this book is that it enables the reader to enter into a detailed account of the management of an intense, at times merged, involvement with a patient, whilst being provided with intermittent glimpses of how the analyst's mind is working, how she is building her frame, and patroling her/their boundaries...The book is well structured. Its clear chapter headings and sub-headings, as well as a chronological list of the patient's dreams, are containing and form a useful reference guide.' - Hilary Lester, Journal of Analytical Psychology 'In this book Joy Schaverien has given us one of the most moving accounts of an analysis that I have encountered...she demonstrates a considerable gift for explaining the analytical process in terms that are accessible to the well-educated lay person in a way that does not detract from the account for the professional clinician...I found the dream material and the way in which it was presented particularly moving and thought-provoking. I liked the way in which each dream was presented in its own right and the reader was given the opportunity to think about it, before encountering the patient's associations and the analyst's comments...The book from first to last chapter contains a deeply moving and sensitive account of the analyst's inner process of holding the analytical frame in the most adverse of circumstances and the working through of that in the counselling room...this is a book, that depite the pain in the telling and the reading, should not be missed.' - Margaret Wilkinson, Journal of the West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy'

About the Author

JOY SCHAVERIEN is Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, and a Jungian analyst in private practice in Leicestershire. A professional member of the Society of Analytical Psychology in London and of the International Assocation for Analytical Psychology, her previous books include Desire and the Female Therapist and The Revealing Image.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th October 2002


Joy Schaverien

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Palgrave Macmillan


224 pages


Sociology: death & dying



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