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There was an epidemic of mental ill health before the pandemic. Now it is exponentially worse. At the same time, there have never been more mental health professionals and practices. This contradiction is the background to Jan Resnick’s masterpiece, which uses theory, discussion, and case studies to show what is central to therapeutic practice.
With a Foreword by Nancy McWilliams
Due to be published in November 2022.
Large Format Paperback, e-Book, Print & e-Book
The purpose of Meaning-Fullness: Developmental Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Mental Health is to show why current mental health practices are falling short in the ever-growing need for effective responses to the epidemic of mental unwellness. Jan Resnick begins by taking a critical look at psychiatry and psychology, especially the misuse and corruption of research that undergirds these practices. He goes on to offer an alternative perspective, understanding, and approach to issues of mental disorders. Resnick focuses upon the existential vacuum, a term originating in Viktor Frankl’s classic text Man’s Search for Meaning, which refers to feelings of emptiness, purposelessness, and meaninglessness. Feelings that are increasingly prevalent in our contemporary world. The existential vacuum points to a domain of experience not well described by the DSM or treated with a bio-medical approach.
A radically different therapeutic approach emerges through elaborating Winnicott’s ideas in Playing and Reality, his last published work. Resnick shows how the capacity for meaning-making originates in early childhood development, and how this understanding can be applied to adult experience, thereby making psychotherapy a developmental process. Developmental psychotherapy aims to cultivate a greater capacity for play, creativity, relationship, and meaningful living. In addition, therapy must work toward relief of mental suffering, recovery from trauma, and mitigation, if not resolution, of psychological disorders. The theory is richly supported with clinical examples throughout the book, culminating in a long case study that integrates the ideas with clinical practice, which forms the final part of the book.
Dr Jan Resnick has created a must-read work for mental health practitioners the world over. His easy-to-read prose makes it accessible and of value to anyone concerned with issues of mental health and well-being, personal development and creating a meaning-full way of living.
Jan Resnick has practised as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist for over 45 years. He trained in London where he was supervised by R. D. Laing, John Heaton, and Christopher Bollas. He moved from Europe to Australia in 1990 where he founded The Churchill Clinic that ran accredited professional trainings in Analytic Psychotherapy & Counselling. The founding president of the Psychotherapists & Counsellors Association of Western Australia, Jan received an Outstanding Achievement award for his contribution to the profession. He was an Editorial Advisory Board member of the national journal Psychotherapy in Australia, where he penned a regular column for over twenty years. An Advisory Board member of Blue Knot Foundation (formerly Adult Survivors of Child Abuse), Jan is also an accredited supervisor for the Royal Australian/New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in psychotherapy and supervises Developmental Paediatricians at the State Child Development Centre (West Perth).
Jan Resnick has a PhD in Psychology (psychoanalysis) based on a psychotherapeutic understanding and treatment of psychosomatic disorders. Over his career, he founded and presided over four separate mental health charities. He has over 100 publishing credits including his first published book, How Two Love: Making Your Relationship Work and Last, based on his clinical work with couples.
Jan lives with his wife Cath in Perth, Western Australia, and has six children and three grandchildren. His practice is Amygdala Consulting where he consults in psychotherapy and offers clinical supervision.
Meaning-Fullness: Developmental Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Mental Health is Jan’s current offering. While critical of standard mental health practices, he offers a different approach that is meaningful and effective.
PART I: Meaning and Meaninglessness
Chapter 1. The epidemic crisis of mental health
Chapter 2. Current practices and corrupt science
Chapter 3. The existential vacuum: meaninglessness and filling the void
Chapter 4. The origin of the capacity for meaning-making
Chapter 5. Language and the body
PART II: Play and Creativity in Child and Adult Development
Chapter 6. The value of illusion
Chapter 7. Play and work
Chapter 8. Creativity: living falsely or authentically
Chapter 9. The object of desire and how to destroy it
PART III: Towards Meaning-Fullness
Chapter 10. Meaning’s emergence in potential space
Chapter 11. Beyond Winnicott: I play therefore I am
Chapter 12. Play and symbolisation in the professional relationship
PART IV. Luke: Finding Meaning through Developmental Psychotherapy
Chapter 13. Working with Luke: a full-length case study
About the author
FIRING THE MIND MEMBERS