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WHAT HAS PSYCHOANALYSIS GOT TO DO WITH HAPPINESS? RECLAIMING THE POSITIVE IN PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY

Authors


  • graham music is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist working in the NHS and an adult psychotherapist in private practice. He is Associate Clinical Director of the Child and Family Department at the Tavistock Clinic, London, where his activities include clinical work in fostering and adoption, training and management. He teaches and supervises regularly on a range of courses at the Tavistock and elsewhere, including in Sicily and Istanbul. Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Park, London NW3 5BA.

[gmusic@tavi-port.nhs.uk]

abstract

This paper questions whether what is a strength of psychoanalysis – its focus on painful and difficult experiences and its ability to remain in touch with the negative aspects of the personality – might also be an Achilles heel. The paper discusses research from neuroscience, developmental and social psychology to argue that more attention needs to be given to how we work with more positive and hopeful aspects of the personality, and that otherwise psychoanalytic psychotherapists are not working with the whole person. Some clinical examples are used to illustrate how these ideas might be used.

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