Stories can explore complicated ideas and bring shared experiences to life. Footage of the Knicks’ upset win in the NBA finals triggers a traumatic memory of family tragedy. A young girl starts bullying her best friend after her big sister goes off to sleepaway camp. An adolescent works through her feelings of anger at her father over her parents’ divorce after discovering his infidelity. A patient’s ugly shoes remind an analyst of her own childhood scars. A daughter recognizes her Holocaust-survivor father’s resilience as she comes to terms with his vulnerability after a life-altering accident. Bringing together these narratives and many more, When the Garden Isn’t Eden reveals how psychoanalysis sheds light on the troubles of everyday life.
Through poignant and sometimes painful stories from their personal and professional lives, three practicing psychoanalysts demonstrate the richness of psychodynamic thinking. Each chapter offers an illustrative and powerful personal vignette followed by an analytical reflection that explicates key psychodynamic concepts, showing how these ideas inform and deepen our understanding of what makes us human. Blending storytelling and psychotherapy, When the Garden Isn’t Eden makes psychodynamic theory vivid and accessible to students, teachers, clinicians, and anyone curious about how therapists work and think.
In this sequel to Wearing My Tutu to Analysis, Malawista, Kanefield, and Adelman masterfully weave together poetry, prose, and storytelling in a way that is both disarming and compelling. When the Garden isn’t Eden invites psychoanalytically informed engagement with the timely and troubling issues that permeate society.
— Theresa Clement Tisdale, coauthor of Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Eastern Orthodox Christian Anthropology in Dialogue
This highly original book connects the facts of life with the ideas of psychoanalysis in the most creative way possible. These wonderful authors know very well how to find the right stories to reintegrate our frequently split parts and to connect psychoanalysis to human life, and vice versa.
— Stefano Bolognini, past president of the International Psychoanalytical Association
This beautifully written collection teaches more about psychoanalysis than any textbook. By commenting on narratives of emotionally powerful experiences, the authors manage a rare achievement: the intimate and yet scholarly communication of the complexity, beauty, and applicability of psychoanalytic thought. I recommend the book to anyone interested in how the unconscious unceasingly influences human experience.
— Nancy McWilliams, Rutgers University
Open this book and you discover engaging stories that bring psychological theory and practice alive. Clinicians, aspiring clinicians, and the public will marvel at theoretical concepts brilliantly illuminated by touching personal anecdotes. A Garden of Eden for the psychologically curious!
— Sandra Buechler, author of Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living: Addressing Life's Challenges in Clinical Practice
This treasure of a book is a gift to us all. The authors have done a superb job of illustrating both key psychoanalytic concepts and the way that analysts think and work by means of stories and clinical vignettes that are as delightful as they are informative. They have made an invaluable contribution to our field.
— Ted Jacobs, author of The Possible Profession: The Analytic Process of Change
Kerry Malawista, Linda Kanefield and Anne Adelman bring their perceptive and wise sensibilities to this subtly sophisticated introduction to psychoanalytic ideas for the interested public and mental health workers. This book is a worthy follow-up to the unforgettable Wearing my Tutu to Analysis.
— Rosemary H. Balsam, author of Women’s Bodies in Psychoanalysis
About the Authors:
Kerry L. Malawista is a training/supervising analyst with the New York Freudian Society and a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is cochair of the New Directions Writing Program and founder of the Things They Carry Project.
Linda G. Kanefield teaches and supervises at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Her psychology practice is in psychoanalysis and fertility consultation.
Anne J. Adelman is a teaching and training analyst with the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, a teaching analyst with the New York Freudian Society, and a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice. She is the editor of JAPA Review of Books and cochair of the New Directions Writing Program.
Malawista and Adelman are coauthors of Wearing My Tutu to Analysis and Other Stories: Learning Psychodynamic Concepts from Life (2011) and coeditors of The Therapist in Mourning: From the Faraway Nearby (2013), both from Columbia University Press.