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Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series) Paperback – June 27, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0881634679 ISBN-10: 0881634670 Edition: 1st

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Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series) + World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Psychoanalytic Inquiry, Vol. 35) + Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series (Book 23)
  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881634670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881634679
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As I left for a deployment to Iraq in the summer of 2008, I was wrestling with how to reach soldiers with traumatized experiences.... [While there] I stumbled upon the writings of Robert Stolorow. I obtained a copy of his recent book, Trauma and Human Existence (2007). It fundamentally changed how I work with traumatized military personnel [and it] profoundly altered my understanding of the impact trauma on an individual’s subjective experience of the world and helped me be empathic with traumatized soldiers in ways that enabled us to connect.... In my remaining months in Iraq, I read ... Trauma and Human Existence repeatedly, carrying it with me as I traveled between forward operating bases and outposts."--Russell B. Carr, Psychoanalytic Psychology (2011)

"In this book Robert Stolorow draws on philosophical reflections, primarily those of Heidegger, to further elucidate the phenomenology of emotional trauma, lending it depth and richness, and contextualizing it in the ontology of the human condition…. This is a book whose author remains steadfastly and unflinchingly present, both to the immediacy of his own pain and to the comfort he finds when such pain is understood…. [The] book is an admirable example of creative psychoanalytic writing, encompassing in a few pages almost everything one needs to understand about the principles of intersubjective psychoanalytic practice." —Dori Laub, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 58(5), 2010

"This book is a remarkable integration of deep self-reflections on intimate, often painful, and sometimes tragic experience, his philosophical investigation of selfhood in living context, and psychoanalytic theorizing on time, affect, and trauma. This is an important addition to the now long line of works that constitute the corpus of Stolorow and colleagues’ intersubjectivity theory." - Lewis Aron, Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA

"In his new book, Robert Stolorow has accomplished a minor miracle, presenting for the reader a theoretically complex, philosophically strong, and yet almost unbearably sad and humane understanding of traumatic experience. Anyone reading this book must take away from it not only a heightened appreciation for the uses of philosophical-psychoanalytic investigation and integration, but as important, a greater understanding of one’s own private life in which traumatic loss surely plays its central organizing role." - Estelle Shane, President, International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology

"Robert Stolorow has done a masterful job of integrating two central themes: one involving the context-dependence of the experience of emotional trauma and the other relating to the idea that emotional trauma is built into the basic foundation of our existence. It represents psychoanalysis at its finest – its themes are beautifully conceptualized, richly exemplified, and profoundly relevant." - Judith Alpert, President, Division of Trauma Psychology, American Psychological Association, USA

"This is a fascinating, phenomenologically rich reflection on emotional trauma that shows the surprisingly powerful relevance of Heidegger for contemporary psychoanalysis." - Simon Critchley, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, USA

"Robert D. Stolorow's new book...is a poetic and deeply poignant study of psychological trauma. The work elegantly manages to convey a profound mastery of the nuances of trauma in a manner in which no prior work has achieved. It will be read many times over by those who first encounter it, with new wisdom to be discovered with each reading.  It is succinct, yet incisive and stirring.  It leaves a lasting impression." - Marilyn Jacobs, Trauma Psychology Newsletter

"Trauma and Human Existence is literally a slight book but with weighty themes. Stolorow has written a book based on years of theorizing and clinical practice. The simple structure of this book allows for repeated powerful statements that are based on decades of serious and creative thinking about good clinical listening." - Spyros Orfanos, PsycCRITIQUES

"Although a 'short' book, Stolorow presents a detailed theoretical and personal account of mood, unconscious, temporality and therapeutic change which draws upon the thought of Gadamer, intersubjective theory, and primarily the philosophical work of Heidegger. As such, it would be of interest to both practicing psychotherapists seeking to integrate philosophical insights into their work, and philosophers interested in the 'lived experience' of existentialist thought." - Laura Cook, Metapsychology Online

"Weaving his love affair with philosophy with his decades-long passion for positioning affect, and now, emotional trauma, within a relational, contextual field, Stolorow accomplishes a lot in a surprisingly brief treatise. Though often dense, and at times poignantly heart-wrenching, [it] is immensely readable.  Unsurprisingly, he makes a valuable contribution to the psychoanalytic literature on trauma and its vicissitudes." - Nancy VanDerHeide, Psychologist-Psychoanalyst    

"This is a little gem of a book. Through his resolute effort, relational psychoanalysis has been enriched by phenomenology. Additionally, I have no doubt in my mind that readers who have experienced a traumatic loss in their lives will find validating resonance to the emerging insights of Stolorow's description and reflective understanding of the experience and resolutuion of this type of loss." - Mufid J. Hannush, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 39, 2008

"Robert Stolorow takes the reader directly to the heart of trauma - as well as how to deal with it, including helping others who suffer such pain." - Christopher J. Mruk, The Humanistic Psychologist

"In this small but concentrated book, Robert Stolorow makes a most coherent case for an existential understanding of trauma, and it deserves to be read by anyone with an interest in trauma, existential philosophy, and psychotherapy." - Martin Adams, Existential Analysis

"I highly recommend this slim volume of expansive and robust ideas to all clinicians who seek an in-depth understanding of emotional trauma and its implications for treatment. It will be especially appreciated by those who welcome a phenomenological approach to the immeasurable impact of traumatic loss in one's own life, as well as the lives of those who come to us for understanding." - Lorraine Cates, Psychoanalytic Social Work

"In this book there is all the power and intensity of a human event, the turmoil of traumatic inconsolable grief, the courage of thinking that exposes and subjects itself to existence, to its reality, its flesh." - Antonio Sichera, Studies in Gestalt Therapy

"Trauma and Human Existence artfully captures the experience of trauma and its vicissitudes, while offering a sober rendering of how it is possible to live a life with an acute awareness of life's uncertainties." - Joan Rankin, Journal of Loss and Trauma

"Trauma and Human Existence is a thoughtfully written account of Robert Stolorow’s understanding of trauma when seen through the eyes of Heidegger’s Seinsdenken… His writing is clear and logical. He successfully uses his own experience in illustrating the phenomenon of trauma. He gives a clear account of the differences between traditional psychoanalytic theory and the assumptions used by an existential therapist." - Dominique Walmsley, Comparative and Continental Philosophy

"Robert Stolorow’s Trauma and Human Existence is ... a good dose of medicine. At the factual level it is about personal and individual trauma, and as such, is moving and thoughtful. At the epistemological level it is concerned with erroneous conceptions, with an ecological ignorance that neglects the deep embeddedness of humans in systemic relations with others’ experience and the surroundings. We are, despite this neglect, 'siblings in the same darkness,' as Stolorow says (p. 47). If we wish to take up our epistemological responsibility, this tiny book is a candle in the darkness." - Tor-Johan Ekeland, Phenomenology & Practice, Volume 4 (2010), No.1

"When he discovered Dr. Stolorow's book, Trauma and Human Existence in 2008 while he was still in Iraq, Dr. Carr carried the book around with him all the time, squeezing every bit of knowledge out of it that he could:"Stolorow's book was more like a companion in the darkness of trauma, helping me to understand and bear the experiences of being in a combat zone. Otherwise, I was left in my isolation, only with answers that seemed to blame my childhood fantasies about my parents for the mortars exploding outside my office." Dr. Carr feels that his adoption of Stolorow's ideas has saved both him and his patients from the isolation and despair of living in a shattered experiential world following combat." - Helen Davey, The Huffington Post

 

About the Author

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. is a Founding Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, a Founding Faculty Member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York City; and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has coauthored four other books for the Analytic Press: Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice (1997), Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life (1992), Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (1987), Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology (1984).


More About the Author

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., Ph.D. was born in Pontiac, Michigan on November 4, 1942 and lives and works in Santa Monica, California. He is a Founding Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles; a Founding Faculty Member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York City; and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011) and Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Routledge, 2007) and coauthor of Worlds of Experience: Interweaving Philosophical and Clinical Dimensions in Psychoanalysis (Basic Books, 2002), Working Intersubjectively: Contextualism in Psychoanalytic Practice (Analytic Press, 1997), Contexts of Being: The Intersubjective Foundations of Psychological Life (Analytic Press, 1992), Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (Analytic Press, 1987), Structures of Subjectivity: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism (Routledge, 2014[1984]), Psychoanalysis of Developmental Arrests: Theory and Treatment (International Universities Press, 1980), and Faces in a Cloud: Intersubjectivity in Personality Theory (Jason Aronson, 1993[1979], 2nd ed.). He is also coeditor of The Intersubjective Perspective (Jason Aronson, 1994), and has authored or coauthored more than two hundred published articles. For more than three decades, he and his collaborators have been seeking to rethink psychoanalysis as a form of phenomenological inquiry.

After attending its college and graduate school, Dr. Stolorow received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University in 1970, and he earned his Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from the Psychoanalytic Institute of the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York City, in 1974. He also received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California at Riverside in 2007. He holds diplomas both in Clinical Psychology and in Psychoanalysis from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), and he is a Fellow in the Divisions of Psychoanalysis and Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He received the Distinguished Scientific Award from the Division of Psychoanalysis in 1995, the Haskell Norman Prize for Excellence in Psychoanalysis from the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis in 2011, and the Hans W. Loewald Memorial Award from the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education in 2012.

Website: http://robertdstolorow.googlepages.com

Customer Reviews

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Curtin on October 15, 2008
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This essay combines the best of heart and head. For anyone wanting to understand the phenomena of trauma as a "lived" experience this book fulfills that promise. The author writes about his personal experience of traumatic loss. In a candid and open manner he describes how he and others make sense of that experience. Grounded in a well articulated phenomenological stance, he describes the profound change trauma evokes in worldview. It isn't just that our world is different, our very existence is changed. There is always a before and after, continuity is challenged. Well recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Mark Baker on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have found every one of Dr. Stolorow's books extremely helpful to me in my practice as a psychologist and this one is no exception. Since what we do as psychotherapists is essentially deal with trauma in one form or another I would recommend this book to every clinician. I believe you will find it both moving and instructive, and hopefully you will be as grateful to Dr. Stolorow as I am for having written it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joel S. Brown on May 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a little book with some profound and moving ideas. The need to share rather than to deny our human finitude and humbling concommitant feelings may not only be important to an individuals post-traumatic healing, but to the the future survival of humanity in the nuclear era. The universal challenge for emotional tolerance in the face of authentic human Being will be answered, in the dark living out of wounded terror, rage and grief or within a difficult higher conciousness interlaced (in my opinion) with love,caring,kindness,existentential wonder and gratfulness.
With his credentials and experience it wouldn't surprise if Dr. Stolorow were invited to serve as a consultant to the Obama Administration regarding the psychological and political impact of individual and collective trauma.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Barth on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book focusses on insight of trauma in a unerstandable fashion as a second generation holocaust survivor , I would recommend this though often the impact of trauma is underestimated this may help provide insight
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By david garbacz on April 17, 2014
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I'm still reading it and it looks interesting. and be warned well, it is a very expensive 50pg pamphlet. The publisher , Routledge, should be ashamed of themselves. I am a publisher and know for a fact the printing of this costs less than a dollar. That said a single life changing sentence could be priceless. I'm looking out for that....
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By Amelie Frank on November 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
A challenge to read if you are neither an academician nor a psychologist, but it is the best book I have read to date about the nature of trauma. It has given me a new vocabulary to help me express to others what growing up and living with trauma can be like. Trauma is a normal part of the human condition, one that is helpful to understand as we develop into the human beings we hope to be. Whether your experience is typical or difficult, you can find a meaningful and comforting understanding from reading this book, which Dr. Stolorow draws from the heart of his own loss.
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