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Withdrawal, Silence, and Loneliness: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process
Edited by Richard G. Erskine | Foreword by Amaia Mauriz Etxabe
Phoenix Publishing House / Softcover / Jun 2023
9781800131873 (ISBN-10: 1800131879)
Psychotherapy / Forthcoming
price: $74.50 (may be subject to change)
176 pages
Not Yet Published

This book presents the concept of the schizoid process: those clients with a fragmented sense of self who struggle with internal criticism, shame, and relational withdrawal. An informative and therapeutically useful work, it is full of ideas to guide an understanding of the schizoid process and of how to engage a client’s sense of self.

Richard G. Erskine is joined by eight colleagues – Silvia Allari, Leigh Bettles, Dan Eastop, Linda Finley, Ray Little, Lynn Martin, Marye O’Riely-Knapp, Eugenio Peiro Orozco – in a thought-provoking work highly recommended to all clinicians.


Richard G. Erskine is a master clinician who, through more than thirty-five years of practice, has integrated diverse schools of psychoanalytic thought – self psychology, object relations, transactional analysis, and Gestalt therapy – with his client-centered background to form his relationally focused, integrative psychotherapy. Alongside eight colleagues, he presents an authoritative guide on working with the schizoid process.

Part I provides an introduction to the schizoid process and an understanding of the concepts and therapeutic interventions required, helpfully illustrated through relevant vignettes that retain the subjective experience of therapist and client.

Part II, the heart of the book, contains a longitudinal case study of Allan. This focuses on the narrative of the psychotherapy sessions interwoven with several salient concepts. It is followed by the observations of two colleagues on the process of the psychotherapy. A representation of professional dialogue, which is so central to refining the practice of psychotherapy.

Part III looks at the clients’ perspective, including a chapter written by a client to provide her personal views on her internal experience of psychotherapy. The final part contains a chapter on the five-year psychotherapeutic journey of a client, Louise. This chapter demonstrates how the theory of the schizoid process is put into therapeutic practice.

This is an essential book for all psychotherapists to widen their understanding of therapeutic practice.

Table of Contents:

About the editor and contributors
Amaia Mauriz Etxabe (Basque Country, Spain)
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)

Part I: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process
1. The Schizoid Process: An Introduction
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
2. Relational Withdrawal, Internal Criticism, Social Facade: Attunement to Parts of the Self
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
3. Relational Withdrawal, Attunement to Silence: Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
4. Engaging with the Schizoid Compromise
Ray Little (Scotland)
5. Silence, Withdrawal, and Contact in the Schizoid Process
Marye O’Riely-Knapp (USA)
6. Relational Needs and the Schizoid Phenomena
Dan Eastop (Ireland)

Part II: A Five-Year Case Study and Colleague’s Reflections
7. Allan: Depression or Isolated Attachment?
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
8. Allan: Internal Criticism and Shame, Physical Sensations and Affect
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
9. Allan: Isolation, Loneliness, and a Need to be Loved
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
10. Allan: Therapeutic Withdrawal and Painful Memories
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
11. Allan: My Mother’s Voice; Psychotherapy of Introjection
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)
12. Reflexively exploring the ‘therapeutic use of self’: A response to Richard Erskine’s five-chapter case study of Allan
Linda Finley (UK)
13. The Role of Shame in the Development of the Schizoid Process
Lynn Martin (UK)

Part III: Clients’ Perspectives on the Psychotherapy
14. Come closer … but keep your distance”
Leigh Bettles (UK)
15. From Inner Safety to Contact-in-Relationship: Analyzing the Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Process
Silvia Allari (Italy) and Eugenio Peiro Orozco (Spain)

Part IV: Theory into Therapeutic Practice
16. Louise: Social Facade, Depression, Relational
Richard G. Erskine (Canada)


About the Editor:

Richard G. Erskine, PhD, Training Director at the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy, is a clinical psychologist with five decades of experience in the clinical practice and teaching of psychotherapy. He has specialised in the treatment of severely disturbed children, run a therapeutic community in a maximum security prison, and conducted his psychotherapy practice in New York City specialising in the treatment of obsession, dissociation, narcissism, schizoid processes.

In 1972, as a professor at the University of Illinois, Dr Erskine developed the initial concepts of a developmentally based, relationally focused integrative psychotherapy. By 1976 he established the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy in New York City and, along with members of the Professional Development Seminars, continued the development, research and refinement of a relational and integrative psychotherapy. Each year Dr Erskine teaches formal courses and experiential workshops on the theory and methods in several countries around the world. He is a licensed psychoanalyst, certified transactional analyst, internationally recognised Gestalt therapist, and a certified group psychotherapist. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on the practice of psychotherapy. Some of the articles are available on his website, .

To view all our titles from Richard G. Erskine, click here .

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