The Analyst’s Torment: Unbearable Mental States in Countertransference

Author(s) : Dhwani Shah

The Analyst’s Torment: Unbearable Mental States in Countertransference

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 190
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 96692
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691845
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691

Reviews and Endorsements

Anyone wanting to know how it feels to be a psychoanalytic therapist should read this book. Dhwani Shah has given us an uncommonly honest, compelling account of the emotional consequences of genuine engagement with patients' suffering. Although his writing reflects extensive scholarship and clinical experience, it is his humanity, humility, and originality that take these chapters beyond ordinary reflections on countertransference. The Analyst's Torment achieves something rare for a psychoanalytic book: it is a real page-turner. I recommend it enthusiastically to clinicians, students, patients, and scholars interested in the haunted inner life of the therapist.
Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, Rutgers Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology

Dhwani Shah's The Analyst's Torment is honest, probing, and does not hesitate in the pursuit of investigating the integrity of psychoanalytic work. The book draws from a range of theorists but does not stay aloft in abstract, illustrating the ideas with detailed, incisive clinical examples. Shah addresses many of the most compelling topics that influence contemporary psychoanalytic work. However, this is a book that all clinicians can learn and grow from: humility is needed in order to be genuinely affected by and to affect our patients.
Elliot Jurist, Ph.D., Professor, Psychology and Philosophy, CCNY, CUNY

In The Analyst's Torment, Dhwani Shah speaks to what remains silenced within the analyst's mind: their arrogance, racism, dread of mental anguish or unrelenting erotic longing, envy, and jealousy. Affects that can leave the analyst ashamed, dissociated, and, if prolonged, in a state of existential hopelessness. Shah explores all this and more with openness and authenticity, allowing the clinician to recognize similar affects within themselves; remaining in the sunken and unsavoury places that must be embodied for therapeutic understanding and transformation. During this time of pandemic, sociopolitical and racial upheaval, Shah's compassion invites the reader to dwell within these complex affect states for their inherent value, resulting in our feeling less alone and incapacitated by these powerful emotions. Shah's book should be a constant companion for any contemporary psychotherapist or psychoanalyst and should serve as a source of relief in these tormenting times.
Dionne R. Powell, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, the Psychoanalytic Association of New York and Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research

Sitting all day in a chair, listening to innumerable tales of horror, certainly cannot be described as easy or relaxing. In this immensely honest, highly refreshing, and grippingly written book, Dr Dhwani Shah has drawn upon his rich clinical experience and his unique insights, and has provided us with a very illuminating map of the confidential complexities of the consulting room. Every mental health clinician should read this excellent work, which will prompt us all to review our own practices with much greater vigilance.
Professor Brett Kahr, Senior Fellow, Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health, Regent's University London

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