The Oedipus Complex: Solutions or Resolutions?

Author(s) : Rhona M. Fear

The Oedipus Complex: Solutions or Resolutions?

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : November 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 160
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 36979
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202950
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202951
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Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex is seminal to psychoanalytic theory, but often ignored because of failure to appreciate the nuances. This book seeks to demystify this fascinating topic by exploring the theory in approachable language. In the early pages of the book the author takes us through Freud’s gradual development of his theory and then moves the reader towards a different view as expressed by Melanie Klein. At the end of the first part of the book the author seeks to promulgate the thesis that there is a causal correlation between attachment theory and the Oedipus complex.

In the later pages of the book the author draws on her personal experience of twenty-five years in practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist to present a number of case studies of patients, all of whom have suffered from an unresolved Oedipus complex. Each of these individuals had found a different temporary ‘solution’ to make life bearable prior to presenting in therapy, where a more permanent resolution could be worked upon.

The author sets Freud’s theory in its historical and sociological context, but makes the point that, as exemplified in the case studies, we need to view it differently 100 years on.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘In this book Rhona Fear sets out to make the oedipal theory more accessible to those coming to it for the first time – and she certainly succeeds in her intention. In presenting the key theoretical positions she is not afraid to show where she disagrees with received wisdom, yet is able also to achieve an integration of the various strands of psychodynamic theory, so that they contribute to her own theory, one that guides her work but is also constantly informed and refined by it. Her absolutely honest case studies demonstrate this, and the reader has to be grateful too to her patients for allowing their stories to be told. Whether or not the reader agrees with Freudian, Kleinian, feminist or attachment theories, Rhona’s book shows that Oedipus is alive and well and living in our midst.’
–– Michael Jacobs, psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and visiting Professor at Leeds and Bournemouth University, and author of The Presenting Past and Psychodynamic Counselling in Action

‘Written in a clear, lively, reader-friendly style and based upon extensive clinical practice, this book carefully explores the relationship between attachment experience and the individual’s sought solution to their oedipal complex. In the process the author challenges some traditional views about the process and highlights a number of personality, relational and behavioural characteristics found among clients/
patients presenting with unresolved issues. Above all else the book examines how the external world, in the form of attachment experience, resonates with intra-psychic processes. This will be of interest to practitioners, clinicians and trainees across the therapeutic spectrum but also more generally to readers seeking to develop their understanding of a key analytic concept.’
–– Ray Woolfe, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and counselling psychologist, and author of The Handbook of Counselling Psychology

‘In this book Rhona Fear exemplifies how one’s attachment experience determines the way in which the individual experiences unresolved oedipal issues. She highlights for us the link between an unresolved Oedipus complex (an intrapsychic conflict) and one’s attachment experience, the latter taking place in the external world. This synergy of the intrapsychic with the interpersonal moves us towards a rapprochement between Bowlby and traditional psychoanalysis. Furthermore, the author shows us how to make use of this theoretical integration in the room with the patient. I am delighted to recommend this book. It should be on the reading list for every training course in counselling and psychotherapy.’
–– Vivienne Taylor, psychoanalytical psychotherapist

About the Author(s)

Rhona M. Fear BA (Hons), MA, is a UKCP registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She has been in private practice in Worcestershire since 1994, and specialises in working with clients in long term therapy. She first qualified as a counsellor in 1990, and then broadened her knowledge by undertaking a master’s degree at Keele University. She then trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

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