The Importance of differentiating between ‘Learned Security’ and ‘Earned Security’

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After almost three decades working as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, I decided two years ago to plan my retirement from private practice.  I found that as I started to mull over the idea of an end to an important era of my life, my mind started to focus on what aspects of my thousands of hours of engaging in therapy have brought the most satisfaction, and constituted the achievements of which I am particularly proud.

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Alan Corbett

Posted on Jan 19, 2017

Dr. Alan Corbett: A Man Enormously Loved

By Professor Brett Kahr

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Christmas of 2016 proved to be a very heavy-hearted one for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of mental health professionals around the world, who have had to mourn the loss of our dear, dear friend Alan Corbett, who has died at far too early an age.

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How the Psychological and the Somatic Interact and Play Off Each Other

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This book explores how we think about and understand sport from the perspective of psychoanalysis. As a cultural product, sport constitutes an entertainment and a pastime – a break that acts like a “psychological moratorium”. It breaks us away from the miseries of everyday realities and worries, transporting us to another reality—that of the ‘game’. Sport also represents a transaction through which personal and social feelings of aggression can be constructively released and harnessed in a controlled and contained space.

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A Psychoanalytic Study of Pervasive Developmental Disorders

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What To Do If the Mind Does Not Develop is a psychoanalytic study of pervasive developmental disorders, based on what I have been able to learn in my work with children and adolescents, as a child and adolescence therapist in the course of about thirty years.

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The Origins of Permission to Narrate

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I’d just finished The World Within the Group (2014) and had several lines of research and chapter drafts that did not find a home in that book. So, without too much of a leap, I thought, why not give birth to a new set of essays?  The more I looked over what I had, I saw an emergent theme, that of human narration and voice, both within psychotherapy, and without, in the wider domain of culture. I just love the general idea that human beings are inherently literary creatures, whose motives, passions, and reasons are expressed in wonderful spontaneous metaphors, analogies, speech acts and stories. So, I guess, I granted myself ‘permission to narrate’, to explore such questions.

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How Imagination Can Maintain Physical and Mental Health

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Many would not believe it, but you can accomplish a great deal with inner pictures. The power of the imagination can be harnessed to improve performance in sport or at work. It is also used very successfully to treat mental health problems and can even provide support with serious illnesses such as cancer.

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Addressing the Gap Between the Psychological Needs of Children and the Services Provided

In a world where the torture, maltreatment, and neglect of children shamefully persist, it is incumbent upon all of us to intervene appropriately to put a stop to it – whether in refugee and displaced camps, conference rooms, or through developing more comprehensive campaigns and policies to hold perpetrators accountable (whether governments or rebels opposing governments), or indeed working in clinics where traumatised children and their families seek help. The manner in which we act to improve the opportunity for recovery in children and young people subjected to torture and other inhumane violent treatment should be our primary concern.

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How Society Shapes Who We Are

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The Political Self explores how our social and economic contexts profoundly affect our mental health and well-being, and how modern neuroscientific and psychodynamic research can both contribute to and enrich our understanding of these wider discussions. It therefore looks both inside and outside—indeed one of the main themes of the book is that the conceptually discrete categories of “inner” and “outer” in reality constantly interact, shape, and inform each other. Severing these two worlds, it suggests, has led both to a devitalised and dissociated form of politics, and to a disengaged and disempowering form of therapy and analysis.

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