In this collection of powerfully illuminating and often poignant essays, contributors candidly discuss the impact of central life crises and identity concerns on their work as therapists. With chapters focusing on identity concerns associated with the body-self (body size, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age), urgent life crises, and defining life circumstances, The Therapist as a Person exemplifies the myriad ways in which the therapist's subjectivity shapes his or her interaction with patients. Included in the collection are life events rarely if ever dealt with in the literature: the death of family members, late pregnancy loss, divorce, the failure of the therapist's own therapy, infertility and childlessness, the decision to adopt a child, and the parenting of a profoundly deaf child.
Introduction - Barbara Gerson I. Current Life Crises of Therapists 1. Death of a Psychoanalyst's Child - Barbara Chasen 2. More Human than Otherwise: Working Through a Time of Preoccupation and Mourning - Eric M. Mendelsohn 3. Trauma and Disruption in the Life of the Analyst: Enforced Disclosure and Disequilibrium in "The Analytic Instrument" - Andrew P. Morrison 4. An Analyst's Pregnancy Loss and Its Effects on Treatment: Disruption and Growth - Barbara Gerson 5. Reflections of a Childless Analyst - Lynn Leibowitz 6. Chloe by the Afternoon: Relational Configurations, Identificatory Processes, and the Organization of Clinical Experiences in Unusual Circumstances - Michael A. Civin and Karen L. Lombardi 7. The Ongoing, Mostly Happy "Crisis" of Parenthood and Its Effect on the Therapist's Clinical Work - Claire Basescu 8. Thank You for Jenny - Jesse D. Geller 9. When the Therapist Divorces - Peter J. Schlachet 10. The Impact of Negative Experiences as a Patient on My Work as a Therapist - Sue N. Elkind II. Childhood Life Crises and Identity Concerns of Therapists 11. The Effects of Sexual Trauma on the Self in Clinical Work - B. F. Stevens 12. The Loss of My Father in Adolescence: Its Impact on My Work as a Therapist - Susan C. Warshaw 13. Psychoanalysis In and Out of the Closet - Mark J. Blechner 14. Different Strokes, Different Folks: Meanings of Difference, Meaningful Differences - Naomi Rucker 15. The Therapist's Body in Reality and Fantasy: A Perspective from an Overweight Therapist - Jane B. Burka 16. Working as an Elder Analyst - Helen May Strauss Afterword - Stephen A. Mitchell