The Abandonment Neurosis, first published in 1950, was and still is a ground-breaking work. Guex’s research turns on two clinical observations: the frequent occurrence of analysands whose neurotic symptoms are unrecognizable when measured against any of the Freudian diagnostic models, and the relatively large number of these patients who sought help from her, having already undergone thorough classically Freudian treatments with analysts whose abilities were never in question, but whose efforts did nothing to relieve patient suffering.
What all these subjects had in common, Guex observed, were extreme – life-debilitating – feelings of abandonment, insecurity and non-valorization, originally ignited by severe pre-Oedipal trauma. Having described the neurosis of abandonment, Guex goes on to outline every diagnostic tool and treatment methodology, developed over many years, which can be deployed in the successful and lasting eradication of this pervasive neurosis, in a way which seems to achieve the impossible.
Guex’s trailblazing research, however, never received the accolades or attention it deserved; the original publication did not get much beyond the French first edition, so her ideas quickly fell from view; plus the book was never translated into English … until now, which hopefully might just provide the spark and readership that will see justice done.
About the Author:
Germaine Guex was born in France in 1904 and died in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1984. She studied psychology in Geneva and after receiving her diploma from the Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau became Jean Piaget's assistant in the psychology laboratory. Above all, Guex was drawn to clinical work, so in 1930 she was recruited by psychoanalyst Dr. André Répond, Director of Psychiatry in the Malévoz clinic, Valais Switzerland, to oversee a psychoanalytically-inspired medical and psychological unit, the first of it's kind. The work, which focused on children, parents and teachers, aimed at being both a therapeutic and preventative facility. During her years in Malévoz, and through her connection with Répond – who was a member of the Société Suisse de Psychanalyse – Guex became familiar with the work of Freud. Then in the 1940s she moved to Lausanne, began working as a psychoanalyst, and initiated the development of psychoanalytic training in French speaking Switzerland. It was also during this period that she and the psychoanalyst Dr. Charles Odier became companions.
About the Translator:
Peter Douglas was born in Wembley, London in 1956. In 1965 he migrated to South Australia with his parents on the ten pound assisted passage, and settled in the satellite city of Elizabeth. In 1972 he joined the Royal Austalian Navy as a Junior Recruit and served five years, mainly overseas. He completed matriculation in 1976 and entered the Flinders University of South Australia the following year. In 1980 he began working as a performer, first as a musician in a touring band, that also made records, and then as an actor. In the 1990s he became a freelance writer, producer and director of theatre, television and film, and in 1995 joined Banksia productions and began making television and film for audiences worldwide.
In 2002 he retired from commercial production and began lecturing in English at the University of Adelaide, where he established the Bachelor of Media course. In 2006 he took up a position at Wilto Yerlo, the indigenous teaching arm of the University of Adelaide, mentoring Aboriginal students through their university courses.