Addictive States of Mind

Editor : Marion Bower, Editor : Robert Hale, Editor : Heather Wood

Part of The Tavistock Clinic series - more in this series

Addictive States of Mind

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'Perversion is taken to mean different things within psychoanalytic discourse. In this book the authors view perversions, not in terms of specific behaviours, but as a type of blueprint for object relations. While perversions may involve a quest for excitement through sex, drugs or gambling, for example, the focus here is on the underlying incapacity - or indeed at times refusal - to relate to the other as separate from the self and not as a narcissistic appendage. It is the anxieties aroused by intimacy and relatedness that drive the pursuit of ecstasy and excitement. Psychoanalytic thinking can help multidisciplinary teams to stand back and respond to the addictive state of mind in humane and containing ways that are not collusive. This book thus provides rich food for thought not only for the individual practitioner but also for those responsible for shaping services for addicted individuals.'

- Alessandra Lemma, from the Preface.

Reviews and Endorsements

'"Ground-breaking" is a much over-used and abused cliché perhaps, yet it does seem the right term to describe this volume. The three editors are also significant contributors to an excellent collection of papers on some of the most recalcitrant and disturbing pathologies so often manifest in addictive states of mind. Much has been, and is being, written about the aetiology and treatment of addiction, but there is little from the coherent and enlightening perspective offered by this book. Here we have set out for the reader a comprehensive, scholarly and moving exploration of a wide spectrum of different addictive behaviours and of some of the settings in which they are clinically, that is psychotherapeutically addressed. The book also, unusually, includes work across the life-span, with chapters on infancy, young childhood and adolescence as well as adult addictive states.'
- Margot Waddell, Series Editor

About the Editor(s)

Marion Bower is a consultant social worker in the Learning and Complex Disability service at the Tavistock Clinic. She is also a psychotherapist in private practice. She edited Thinking Under Fire: Psychoanalytic Theory for Social Work Practice. She is currently working on a biography of Joan Riviere.

More titles by Marion Bower

Rob Hale trained as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and since 1980 has worked at the Portman Clinic and the Tavistock Clinic. His initial clinical interest was in self destructive acts moving to perverse acts, particularly those individuals who seek help for paedophilia. This clinical experience has provided the basis for the consultative work, both clinical and organisational, in other institutions starting with the work in drug dependency described in this volume. For the past eighteen years he has spent an increasing amount of time working with Medium and High Secure Hospitals as an external consultant for the clinical staff and managers of those institutions.

Heather Wood is a consultant adult psychotherapist and clinical psychologist at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with the British Association of Psychotherapists. She has a special interest in the problematic use of internet pornography and virtual sex, and the related subject of paedophilia, and has published chapters and papers on these and other topics.

More titles by Heather Wood

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