Winner of the 2008 Gradiva Award! Can something as negative as loss also be a positive, transformative experience? Is it possible that t only individuals but also societies can be developmentally arrested by problematic mourning? On Deaths and Endings brings together the work of psychoanalytic scholars and practitioners grappling with the manifold issues evoked by loss and finality. The book covers the impact of endings throughout the life cycle, including effects on children, adolescents, adults, those near death and entire societies. New psychoanalytic perspectives on bereavement are offered based on clinical work, scholarly research and the authors' own, deeply personal experiences. The contributors present compelling, often moving, enquiries into subjects such as the reconfiguration of self-states subsequent to mourning, the role of ritual and memorials, the tragic impact of unmourned loss, modern conceptualisations of the death instinct, and terror-based losses. In that much psychotherapy is conducted with people who have suffered some form of loss, this book will be an invaluable resource for all mental health professionals. The emphasis on the potential of working through the vicissitudes of these experiences will provide inspiration and hope both to those who have endured personal loss and to anyone working with grieving patients.
Brent Willock is President of the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and a member of the faculty of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program and the Institute for the Advancement of Self Psychology. Lori C. Bohm is a Supervising Analyst and member of the faculty at the William Alanson White Institute, New York and Supervisor of Psychotherapy at City College of New York and St Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center. Rebecca C. Curtis is a member of the faculty and Supervisor at William Alanson White Institute, Supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University.