Over the past few decades, psychoanalysis and dynamic psychiatry have been steadily stepping back from a key role in the understanding and treatment of depressive disorders. This book investigates the historical and philosophical basis for such retreat and offer readers a comprehensive, dynamically-oriented model of symptom formation in depression.
Azzone offers, in this compact book, a superb overview of the interpretation and treatment of depression. The book's strength resides in its historical and theoretical contextualization of depression, from the ancient to modern psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic approaches. The first part of the book comprises three chapters treating depression as a social and spiritual problem with serious implications for how clinicians should approach this mental illness. Special attention is paid to medieval understandings of depression. The second part takes up the clinical aspects of depression from the psychoanalytic perspective, and summarizes how psychoanalysis contributes to contemporary psychotherapeutic and psychodynamic approaches. The final part offers a model for comprehending the formation of depressive symptoms. Depression is conceptualized as above all a psychic problem. This book will be of immense value to clinicians and students of psychotherapy, especially those who practice from psychodynamic perspectives. The book fills a gap in the literature on depression such that to overlook Azzone's contribution is to risk ignoring the most significant rethinking of depression in the history of modern analysis. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections.
In essence, this book offers many interesting insights on an as yet enigmatic disorder and can be a stimulating reading not only for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, but for all readers interested in the historical evolution and in the descriptive psychopathology of the 'dark illness.'
— State of Mind
About the Author:
Paolo Azzone is a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst. He works at the G. Salvini Hospital in Milan, Italy. Azzone substantially contributed to the establishment of a psychotherapy research tradition in Italy, with empirical studies on the psychotherapy process and on dreams. His current interests include psychoanalytic treatment of depression and the intersections between psychoanalysis and philosophy, history, and religious experience. He is co-editor of La mente dell’anima (The Mind of Soul), 2008.