Failure is a theme of great importance in most clinical conditions, and in everyday life, from birth until death. Its impact can be destabilizing, even disastrous. In spite of these facts, there has been no comprehensive psychoanalytic exploration of this topic. Understanding and Coping with Failure: Psychoanalytic Perspectives fills this gap by examining failure from many perspectives. It goes a long way toward increasing understanding of the numerous issues involved, and provides many valuable insights into ways of coping with these challenging experiences and several chapters discuss positive aspects of failure - what can be learned from what would otherwise simply be regrettable experiences.
Brent Willock, Rebecca Coleman Curtis and Lori C. Bohm bring together a rich diversity of topics explored in thoughtful ways by an international group of authors from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America. Failed therapies (which have been examined in the literature) are but one element freshly explored in this comprehensive exploration of the topic. The book is divided into sections covering the following topics: Failing and Forgiving; Society-Wide Failure; Failure in the Family; Therapeutic Failure; Professional Failure in the Consulting Room and on the Career Path; Integrity versus Despair: Facing Failure in the Final Phase of the Life Cycle; Metaphoric Bridges and Creativity; The Long Shadow of Childhood Relational Trauma.
Understanding and Coping with Failure will be eagerly welcomed by all those trying to increase their awareness, understanding, and capacity to work with the many ramifications of this important issue. Because of the uniqueness of this broad, detailed exploration of the complexities of the failure experience, it will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and students in these disciplines. It will also appeal to a wider audience interested in the psychoanalytic perspective.
Brent Willock is President, Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis; Board Member, Canadian Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy; faculty, Institute for the Advancement of Self Psychology; author, Comparative-Integrative Psychoanalysis (The Analytic Press, 2007); On Deaths and Endings: Psychoanalysts’ Reflections on Finality, Transformations and New Beginnings (Routledge, 2007) with Lori C. Bohm and Rebecca Coleman Curtis; Loneliness and Longing: Conscious and Unconscious Aspects (Routledge, 2011) with Lori C. Bohm and Rebecca Coleman Curtis.
Rebecca Coleman Curtis is Professor of Psychology and Director of Research, Adelphi University, Supervisor of Psychotherapy, William Alanson White Institute, and National Institute for the Psychotherapies.
Lori C. Bohm is President, Toronto Institute & Society for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Fellow, Supervising Analyst, Faculty member, and Director, Center for Applied Psychoanalysis and Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program, William Alanson White Institute.