Haunted by Parents

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Yale University Press, 2006 - Psychology - 257 pages
A distinguished psychoanalyst offers a humanistic reflection on the parent-child bond and how it affects our ability--or inability--to change

In this book the eminent psychoanalyst Leonard Shengold looks at why some people are resistant to change, even when it seems to promise a change for the better. Drawing on a lifetime of clinical experience as well as wide readings of world literature, Shengold shows how early childhood relationships with parents can lead to a powerful conviction that change means loss.

Dr. Shengold, who is well known for his work on the lasting effects of childhood trauma and child abuse in such seminal books as Soul Murder and Soul Murder Revisited, continues his exploration into the consequences of early psychological injury and loss. In the examples of his patients and in the lives and work of such figures as Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Wordsworth, and Henrik Ibsen, Shengold looks at the different ways in which unconscious impressions connected with early experiences and fantasies about parents are integrated into individual lives. He shows the difficulties he's encountered with his patients in raising these memories to the conscious level where they can be known and owned; and he also shows, in his survey of literary figures, how these memories can become part of the creative process.

Haunted by Parents offers a deeply humane reflection on the values and limitations of therapy, on memory and the lingering effects of the past, and on the possibility of recognizing the promise of the future.

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User Review  - dfullmer - LibraryThing

A very interesting book that discussed how your relationship with your parents affects your outlook in life, and your attitude towards change. Interesting case studies of famous authors, and various patients. Read full review

Haunted by parents

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Psychoanalysis is much less fashionable as a treatment modality than it once was. However, this book, which is grounded in that tradition, revisits some of its key concepts in a thoughtful ... Read full review

Contents

A Literary Example of Haunting Dr Benjamin Spock
1
A Clinical Illustration of Some of My Main Themes
20
Knowing Change and Good and Bad Expectations
28
Beginnings and Wordsworths Immortality Ode
38
Change Means Loss Spring and Summer Must Become Winter
50
The Myth of Demeter and Persephone
65
Another Dream of Death in a Garden
71
A Clinical and a Literary Example Edna St Vincent Millay
77
On Listening Knowing and Owning
177
Gardens Unweeded Gardens and the Garden of Eden Death and Transience
191
THE PROMISE and Ibsens A Dolls House and Hedda Gabler
197
What Do I Know?
221
Postscript
232
Hartmann on the Genetic Point of View and Object Constancy
235
References
243
Index
247

A Second Literary Example Leonard Woolf
101
A Third Literary Example Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov
131

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About the author (2006)

Leonard Shengold, M.D., is a training analyst at New York University Psychoanalytic Institute and clinical professor of psychiatry, New York University Medical School. He lives in New York City.

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