The editors and contributors examine new research regarding the ways the relationships of people and animals are reflected in human psychopathology. They describe how animals figure in psychiatric symptoms, and how people project their concerns onto animals or describe an aspect of their thinking in terms of animals and their behaviors. They continue by examining case studies of patients and pathologies with connections to animals, such as the horses of Little Hans and the image of the Wolfman, and presenting recent research in how dogs, birds, snakes, spiders, and cats figure in both diagnosis and therapy. Episodes of cruelty to animals are described.
Originally published by IUP in 2004.
"Salman Akhtar and Vamik Volkan's dynamic book, Mental Zoo, takes the reader on a panoramic tour illuminating the rich world of animals in human experience. Here Freud's rats, wolves, and horses join our own cats and dogs to meet snakes, spiders, birds, and cockroaches. With an engaging blend of whimsy and erudition, the contributors describe the feelings, fantasies, dreams, nightmares, and delusions that animals evoke in us all. Detailed clinical examples capture the richness of the intrapsychic and interpersonal places that animals inhabit in our psyches. The book encompasses the role of animals not only in normal development and psychopathology, but also in history and mythology. Mental health professionals will listen to their patients with new sensitivities after Mental Zoo introduces them to this fascinating menagerie."
-- Alex Hoffer, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Institute of New England
"The spectrum of animals studied, from rats to horses, dogs, cats and wolves, to birds, snakes, spiders and insects, is dazzling, provocative, and always thought-provoking. It is psychoanalytic, with each animal viewed from philia to phobia, from unconscious to conscious effects, thorough at every level. Each contribution resounds with its relevance to clinical work and to everyday observations. The scholarship is historical, prehistorical, even paleontological, and ranges over myths, religious worship, rituals, language, folklore, symbols, art, and always clinical data, from Freud's to our own with a special bounty to dreams and nightmares. Several of the chapters will be classics. The book as a whole is more than a compendium; it is an encyclopedia."
-- Leo Rangell, MD, (1913-2011) psychoanalyst and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California
1. Animals in Psychiatric Symptomatology; 2. Rat People; 3. Horses and Horsewomen; 4. The Wolf in the Consulting Room; 5. Man's Best Friend; 6. A Journey with Homo Aves through the Human Aviary; 7. Snakes and Us; 8. Spider Phobias and Spider Fantasies; 9. The Cat People Revisited
The Editors: Salman Akhtar is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. Vamik D. Volkan is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, an Emeritus Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.