A Place for Beauty in the Therapeutic Encounter

Author(s) : Dorothy Hamilton

Part of The Harris Meltzer Trust Series - more in this series

A Place for Beauty in the Therapeutic Encounter

Book Details

  • Publisher : Harris Meltzer Trust
  • Published : January 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 142
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 95314
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912567782
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912567
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A Place for Beauty in the Therapeutic Encounter is written for all psychotherapists, counsellors, and psychologists who practise under the broad banner of psychoanalytic thinking. It is also for anyone who loves beauty and wants to think more about its place in the mind.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This book re-opens an investigation: that of the nature of inner space, and of the place held within it by the experience of beauty. The author looks at the relation of loss to the awareness of beauty, and at the part played by the perception of beauty in the structuring of the world. She looks into the regions of darkness and light surrounding any apprehension of beauty.

Relations between desire, knowledge, love, and hate play a part in this study, and some of the psychoanalysts that she discusses have made this explicit. She takes Freud’s elliptical comment “psychoanalysis … has scarcely anything to say about beauty”, and gives a stage setting to the drama hidden within it.’ - Bernard Burgoyne, Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalysis at Middlesex University.


‘I was excited to discover this way of experiencing patients’ material. The book is beautifully written and the subject treated concisely and passionately. It is presented it in such a way as to be truly useful for psychotherapists. This book adds something unique to existing theory and practice.’ - Lindsay Wells, Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy.


‘Dorothy Hamilton’s monograph offers the reader a sweeping, yet concise, journey through the intricacies of beauty as a concept in psychoanalysis and more widely. She concludes her analysis with a strikingly beautiful account of a patient’s emergence into, and use of, beauty.’ - Frederick Stanwood, College of Psychoanalysts UK.

About the Author(s)

Dorothy Hamilton is a Professional Member of the Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy (AGIP), formerly its chair; a member of the College of Psychoanalysts; and Honorary Fellow of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. In a former career she taught emotionally and behaviourally disturbed children; she was co-founder of PACT (Parents, Children and Teachers), the home learning initiative, co-writing Parent, Teacher, Child and Learning at Home. She took an MA in the Psychology of Religion at Heythrop College, gaining a distinction for her work on mapping the language of psychoanalysis to that of religious experience. She has taught, given papers and published on a wide range of psychotherapeutic subjects, often with a bias toward metapsychology, and in a variety of settings. Amongst these, she ran a series of conferences on ‘Psychoanalysis and the Nature of Consciousness’, of which many of the papers were published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy. Groups she has run include a clinical support group at the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre and a staff group at Holloway Prison.

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