Relational Perspectives Book Series , Vol. 15
"Dr. Kainer has written a healing text." So observes James Grotstein in his Foreword to The Collapse of the Self and Its Therapeutic Restoration. Grotstein's word play alludes both to the content of the book-a rich and clinically detailed account of the therapeutic restoration of the self - and to the healing process for analysts themselves that follows from Rochelle Kainer's sensitive integration of heretofore dissociated realms of psychoanalytic theory. More specifically, she attempts to show the natural flow between "subject" and "object" and "internal" and "external" as these concepts have been employed by different schools of psychoanalytic thought. In describing how the reworking of pathological internal object relationships occurs in conjunction with the transformation of selfobject failures, Kainer brings new insight to bear on the healing of the self at the same time as she contributes to healing the historic split in psychoanalysis between Kleinian theory and self psychology.
In clear and readable prose, Kainer brings her viewpoint to life with extensive case illustrations. These illustrations, refracted through the lens of her uniquely integrative perspective, bring refreshing clarity to elusive theoretical concepts. Of special note is Kainer's distinction between normal and pathological identifications, and her subsequent elaboration of the role of identification with ideal objects in the creation of the self. Equally valuable is her introduction of the term "imaginative empathy" to characterize the kind of attunement that is integral to analytic healing; her nuanced description of the relation between imaginative empathy and projective identification bridges the worlds of Kleinian theory and self psychology in an original and compelling way. She ends by spelling out how her theoretical viewpoint leads to a more comprehensive understanding of various clinical phenomena, including sadomasochistic identifications, narcissistic injuries, compulsive eating and autistic self-soothing, and psychotic residues in neurotic structures.
What we have in The Collapse of the Self and Its Therapeutic Restoration, then, is a sophisticated yet accessible work, gracefully written, that elaborates a relational theory of thinking, of creativity, of identification, and of the formation and healing of psychic structure. Kainer's ability to bring the often dissonant voices of different psychoanalytic schools into theoretical harmony as she develops her viewpoint conveys both the breadth of intellectual engagement with colleagues and the depth of clinical engagement with patients that inform her project from beginning to end.
Table of Contents
Foreword by James Grotstein
Part I Creating the Self
Chapter One - Found Objects: On the Nature of Identification
Chapter Two - On Falling in Love with a Work of Art: Identifications in the Creation of the Ideal Self
Chapter Three - Sadomasochistic Identifications: The Formation of the Pathological Part of the Self
Part II The Collapse of the Self
Chapter Four - Narcissistic Injury and its Relation to Paranoid/Schizoid Collapse
Chapter Five - Compulsive Eating: Autistic Self-Soothing in a Neurotic Structure
Chapter Six - Hidden Spaces: Psychotic Residues in a Neurotic Structure
Chapter Seven - From "Hysteroid Dysphoria" to "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder": A Case for Psychoanalysis in the Era of Neurobiology
Chapter Eight - The Role of Projective Identification in Imaginative Empathy
Chapter Nine - Psychic Catastrophe and the Premature Birth of the Self: Implications for Treatment
Chapter Ten - Lifting the Shadow of the Object: Reworking Pathological Internal Object-Relationships and Transforming Selfobject Failures