Psychodynamic theory and practice are often misunderstood as
appropriate only for the worried well or for those whose problems
are minimal or routine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This book shows how psychodynamically informed, clinically based
social care is essential to working with individuals whose problems
are both psychological and social.
Each chapter addresses populations struggling with structural
inequities, such as racism, classism, and discrimination based on
immigrant status, language differences, disability, and sexual
orientation. The authors explain how to provide psychodynamically
informed assessment and practice when working with those suffering
from mental illness, addiction, homelessness, and cognitive,
visual, or auditory impairments, as well as people in prisons, in
orphanages, and on child welfare. The volume supports the idea that
becoming aware of ourselves helps us understand ourselves: a key
approach for helping clients contain and name their feelings, deal
with desire and conflict, achieve self-regulation and self-esteem,
and alter attachment styles toward greater agency and empowerment.
Yet autonomy and empowerment are not birthrights; they are
capacities that must be fostered under optimal clinical
This collection uses concepts derived from drive theory, ego
psychology, object relations, trauma theory, attachment theory,
self psychology, relational theories, and intersubjectivity in
clinical work with vulnerable and oppressed populations.
Contributors are experienced practitioners whose work with
vulnerable populations has enabled them to elicit and find common
humanity with their clients. The authors consistently convey
respect for the considerable strength and resilience of the
populations with whom they work. Emphasizing both the inner and
social structural lives of client and clinician and their
interacting social identities, this anthology uniquely realizes the
complexity of clinical practice with diverse populations.
Subjects: Sociology, Psychology
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