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Leading international experts from the fields of psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, neuroscience, literature, art, social science, and philosophy bring a wide range of interpretations to the concept of being alone.
Featuring contributions from Dominic Angeloch, Patrizia Arfelli, Charles Ashbach, Manfred E. Beutel, Elmar Brähler, Jagna Brudzińska, Michael B. Buchholz, Lesley Caldwell, Karin Dannecker, Aleksandar Dimitrijević, Mareike Ernst, Jay Frankel, Gail A. Hornstein, Colum Kenny, Eva M. Klein, Helga de la Motte-Haber, Gamze Özçürümez Bilgili, Inge Seiffge-Krenke, and Peter Shabad.
Aleksandar Dimitrijević and Michael B. Buchholz
Large Format Paperback, e-Book, Print & e-Book
Psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosocial Studies
Social isolation and loneliness are increasingly being recognised as a priority public health problem and policy issue worldwide, with the effect on mortality comparable to risk-factors such as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. From the Abyss of Loneliness to the Bliss of Solitude sheds much-needed light on a multifaceted global phenomenon of loneliness, and investigates it, together with its counterpart solitude, from an exciting breadth of perspectives: detailed studies of psychoanalytic approaches to loneliness, developmental psychology, philosophy, culture, arts, music, literature, and neuroscience. The subjects covered also range widely, including the history and origins of loneliness, its effects on children, the creative process, health, lone wolf terrorism, and shame.
This is a timely and important contribution to a growing problem – greatly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic – that has serious effects on both life quality and expectancy. It addresses the developmental and communicative causes of loneliness, its neurophysiological correlates and artistic representations, and how loneliness differs to solitude, which some consider necessary for creativity. It also provides insights into how we can help those suffering from loneliness, as classical psychoanalytic papers are revisited, contemporary therapeutic perspectives presented, and detailed case presentations offered.
From the Abyss of Loneliness to the Bliss of Solitude is essential reading for mental health professionals and those searching for a better understanding of what it means to be lonely and how the lonely can better voice their loneliness and step out of it.
Aleksandar Dimitrijević, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He works as a lecturer at the International Psychoanalytic University and in private practice in Berlin. He has given lectures, seminars, university courses, and conference presentations throughout Europe and in the US. He is the author of many conceptual and empirical papers about attachment theory and research, psychoanalytic education, and psychoanalysis and the arts, some of which were translated into German, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish. He has also edited or co-edited eleven books or special journal issues, the most recent of which are Ferenczi’s Influence on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Traditions (with Gabriele Cassullo and Jay Frankel, 2018) and Silence and Silencing in Psychoanalysis (with Michael B. Buchholz, 2020).
Prof. Dr. Michael B. Buchholz studied psychology and social sciences, fully trained as a psychoanalyst, training analyst in Göttingen (Germany), taught social psychology at International Psychoanalytic University (IPU) in Berlin until retirement in autumn 2020. His main interests are to combine psychoanalysis and the study of psychotherapeutic conversation, thus the application of conversation analysis as a method of microscopic observation applicable in social situations, including of violence. He has published more than 25 books and more than 300 papers on family therapy, treatment technique, supervision, conversation analysis, and violence.
About the editors and contributors
Part I: Philosophy and culture
Introduction to Part I
1.The hidden sociality of the solitary subject. Phenomenological and psychoanalytical reflections on loneliness
2. ‘And live alone in the bee-loud glade’? Asceticism and the construction of solitude
3.Lone wolves’ loneliness – about a special variant of terrorism
Michael B. Buchholz
4. History of private self and solitude
Part II: Art and literature
Introduction to Part II
5. Musical facet of loneliness
Helga de la Motte-Haber
6. Myth of the solitary artist
7. The lonely house
8. Seven kinds of loneliness. Psychic pain in David Rabe’s play Hurlyburly
Part III: Developmental psychology and health
Introduction to Part III
9. The dual function of loneliness: a developmental perspective
10. Loneliness and insecure attachment
11. Epidemiology of loneliness
Eva M. Klein, Mareike Ernst, Manfred E. Beutel, and Elmar Brähler
12. Loneliness and health
Gamze Özçürümez Bilgili
13. Loneliness and the brain
Gamze Özçürümez Bilgili
Part IV: Psychoanalysis
Introduction to Part IV
14. Loneliness in child analysis cases
15. Landscapes of loneliness: engaging with Frieda Fromm-Reichmann’s pioneering work
16. Through the prism of being alone. A further dialogue between Donald Winnicott and Melanie Klein
17. Traumatic aloneness in children with narcissistically preoccupied parents
18. The clinical encounter with the lonely patient: Trauma and the Empty Self
19. Shame and its cover-up: the self-enclosed prison of isolation
20. Strengthening the human bond – Doing We is more important than “intervention”
Michael B. Buchholz
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