Working with Trauma: Lessons from Bion and Lacan by Marilyn Charles takes concepts from the psychoanalytic literature and translates them into user-friendly language. In this book, Charles focuses on clinical work with more severely disturbed patients, for whom trauma has impeded their psychosocial development. Introducing ideas from Bion and Lacan, such as “empty speech” and “attacks on linking,” she shows the reader their clinical utility. Her use of clinical moments, rather than more lengthy vignettes, invites readers to recognize that type of dilemma and imagine how they might use the concept in their own work.
Reviews and Endorsements:
Psychoanalysis continues to open and explore realities important for living. Marilyn Charles mediates vital concepts of psychoanalysis today and demonstrates its relevance for our current predicaments and needs.
— Michael Eigen Ph.D, author of Contact with the Depths
The very people who most need our engaged connection, those who have lived with trauma and psychosis, tend to make us uncomfortable and frighten us away. Working with Trauma: Lessons from Bion and Lacan by Marilyn Charles is more than just an introduction to the clinical and theoretical contributions of these two major psychoanalytic theorists. Charles is an expert teacher who stays close to clinical experience and explains how she uses the sophisticated conceptualizations of Bion and Lacan to connect with these very hard to reach patients. A welcome text for students and advanced therapists.
— Lewis Aron, Ph.D., New York University
Reading Marilyn Charles is like entering a beguiling non-fiction novel, so articulate and elegant is her style of writing. She has a remarkable way of introducing us to her personal and intimate contacts with deeply and chronically anguished patients who have been severely traumatized. One of the many strengths of her book is her detailed clinical encounters with her patients. She beautifully demonstrates how she gets under their radar with her openly accepting style and her unique integration of psychoanalytic techniques. She has been deeply influenced by three of the foremost psychoanalysts of recent years, Wilfred R. Bion, Jaques Lacan, and Donald Winnicott, from whom she has woven a fascinating and effective fabric of analytic technique that is applicable to trauma. In short, Marilyn's work is beautiful, eminently readable, and wonderfully applicable clinically.
— James Grotstein
Foreword by Michael O'Loughlin
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Subject Caught by the Desire of the Other
Chapter 3: Stumbling over the Gap: "The Unconscious is Structured Like a Language"
Chapter 4: Shame and the Possibility of Insight
Chapter 5: Development, Negation, and the Desire to Turn a Blind Eye
Chapter 6: Development, Negation, and the Desire to Turn a Blind Eye, Part II: Perversion
Chapter 7: Working with Trauma: Attacks on Linking and Empty Speech
Chapter 8: Passage into Action and the Fear of Breakdown
Chapter 9: Telling Trauma: Working with Psychosis
Chapter 10: Telling Trauma, Part II: Signs, Symbols, and Symptoms
Chapter 11: Meetings at the Edge
About the Author
About the Author:
Marilyn Charles, PhD is a staff psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center and a psychoanalyst in private practice in Stockbridge and Richmond, Massachusetts. She is also an adjunct professor of clinical psychology at Michigan State University.