Understanding the Changing Social Contexts for Fathering

Staying Attached: Fathers and Children in Troubled Times is a book about fathers who want to be present in their children’s lives; but who find it hard to be so.  It is based on both research with fathers and their life stories, and also clinical experience of work alongside fathers through family mental health care and family court systems.

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Life, but not as we know it

“In man, creature and creator are united: in man there is not only matter, fragment, excess, clay, mud, madness, chaos; but in man there is also creator, sculptor, the hardness of the hammer, the divine spectator and the seventh day” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

 

The fabrication of human life disrupted by contemporary technologies

Where do children come from?  That is the impossible question par excellence.   Why am I me and not someone else?  Why was I born here, rather than somewhere else?  Why now, rather than at another time?  Whatever the explanation may be, origin remains something that cannot be represented, cannot be thought, inaccessible, ungraspable – as is revealed with such clarity through the question of a little girl to her pregnant mother, once the mother had exhausted all manner of explanations, without any of them answering the question: “Yes, I know all of that, but my question is a different one: me, before I was in your belly, where was I?”

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Key Ingredients of Change

Stepping into Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Key Ingredients of Change provides an accessible introduction to Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as articulated by Dr. Sue Johnson. It introduces therapists unfamiliar with the model the theory and practice of EFT from the clients’ and therapist’s points of view. It also gives practitioners already familiar with the model a practical overview to augment their facility and engagement with the model. Process and outcome research testifies that EFT is arguably the most effective model of couple therapy available. We know not only that EFT works but we know how it works.

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The logic of metaphor and the importance of therapeutic context

I hesitated long and hard before deciding that it was right to call this book a “handbook”. After all, I might be arousing the impression that the book presents a blueprint for psychotherapy and that it contains concrete instructions for the creation of a reproducible model. You will not, in fact, find any such blueprint or linear instructions here. At best you will be aware, when you have finished the book, that after every session you will need to start again, with a fresh outlook and from an attitude of active not-knowing.

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Exploring the Family and Couple State of Mind

 

The psychoanalytic treatment of families and couples has long been relegated to second class status, thought by psychoanalysts to be a lesser, distant cousin of “the real deal” of individual analysis. But there are many of us who feel that psychoanalysis is first and foremost a working theory, a set of ideas towards understanding the human condition, and then, secondarily, a set of applications to various modes of therapy – individual analytic therapy done mostly once or twice weekly, intensive psychoanalysis usually employing the couch with a frequency of three to five times a week – and family and couple psychoanalysis (or psychoanalytic therapy), along with a number of other equally important applications such as group analysis. All these are legitimate modes of application of psychoanalysis.

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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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This book is addressed to anyone, lay or professional, who seeks to understand more of the shared unconscious processes that bind and/or destroy couple relationships. It explains how and why couples are drawn to one another in the first place and how the bond is then sustained or eroded by pacts made and broken without either party being aware they exist. Bringing these “deals” into the pair’s awareness is a significant part of couple therapy.

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Love: Bondage or Liberation? The Meaning, Values, and Dangers of Falling in Love

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In the history of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy as we know, falling in love was first examined as an important event within the context of the therapeutic work. Freud and his contemporaries found that their analysands often developed passionate attachments to them. This formed the basis for Freud’s idea of the transference.

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Sexual energy is potentially a free source of pleasure and ecstasy, with remarkable physical and emotional health benefits. In the UK, we seem much more liberalised than a generation ago, but there are also costs to our well-being, including high rates of sexual violence, sexual ill health, and the ‘side effects’ of chemicals in health and beauty products and the wide use of synthetic hormones.

We live in a highly sexualised culture where we are inundated with images of celebrity ‘sexy’ people, and lots of things to buy: fashions, lotions and potions to make us more ‘sexy’. We currently have concerns about our young people viewing pornography as a role model for adult sexual relationships, not understanding it is a fantasy world contrived to amuse and entertain adults. It is a world of a one-dimensional view of sex, where men have very large penises; women have very large breasts and where sex is mainly acts of penetration.

Many people feel a gulf between all this and their own tastes and preferences, their own sense of sexual self-esteem. Sexual issues are shrouded in shame. This silences us. Many think ‘everyone else seems cool, what’s my hang up?’ Discussing our current sexual culture needs to include physical and psychological health, and issues such as body image, cosmetic surgery, eating disorders, all of which take us away from our natural selves.

There are many areas around Sexuality in need of evaluation and healing. LoveSex offers a new model for us to explore what we think and feel about our own sexuality. It could be therapeutic for us all, to have a safe space to talk more openly, to blow out the cobwebs, and discuss how our sexuality could be honoured and really celebrated.

What do you think?

Cabby Laffy
Author of LoveSex (Karnac Books, 2013).

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Psychoanalytic perspectives in work with the individuals, the couple, and the group

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This book presents psychoanalytic thinking about the phenomenon of the couple and couple dynamics in internal and external reality and at different levels of organisation: the ‘couple’ in the individual’s internal world, the dynamics between partners in a couple relationship, and the dynamics between the couple and the group. It will interest professionals from different disciplines who find couple dynamics relevant in their work.

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How therapy can transform marital miscommunication into constructive communication

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Marital therapy has developed significantly in the last few decades and fulfils a very important role in helping disturbed couples in the process of understanding their difficulties. My new book, Married Life and its Vicissitudes: A Therapeutic Approach, provides an experienced and humane exploration of marital vicissitudes, and shows that in many cases pathological development is an unavoidable development that requires a sensitive and effective therapeutic input for successful resolution.

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