Robert Hooberman shows how a clear appreciation of the importance and implicatioins of character lends an essential component to a therapist's skill in helping patients change. A clinician's interventions provide the most benefit for the patient if they are made in an affectively charged therapeutic relationship that has character structure at its center. This book makes the essential connection betrween character change and the creative, interpersonal relationship between therapist and patient. Our habitual stance toward the world, which we regard as our personality or character, develops from the ways in which we deal with internal and external disturbances. These modes of psychic survival are initially adopted at moments of stress when they are crucual and essential to our psychic survival. But even after the immediate stress subsides, they have shaped our personality. Although these archaic modes of survival may be potentially problematic, nevertheless they are a means of handling underlying pain. By understanding how a patient's attempts to be safe have created these entrenched intrapsychic solutions, the therapist comes to value how difficult it is to change them.
In spite of the pain that patients feel, their habitual patterns become internalized and form their character structure. These are creative, but flawed, solutions to pain and conflict. Dr. Hooberman looks closely at three common character themes: the characterologic use of defense, the pervasiveness of structural sadomasochism, and the nature and effect of trauma. He describes the effects on character development of both cumulative and catastrophic trauma and their profound impact on the development of character and its structure. Hooberman's approach to psychotherapy gives attention to the subtleties of character. A therapeutic approach that draws out the qualities of character structure and encompasses a creative engagement between patient and therapist allows the therapist to appreciate the integrity of the patient
Robert E. Hooberman, Ph.D. practices psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with adolescents, adults and couples in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Director of Training at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Council. He has presented at a number of local and national meetings, and is well regarded as a supervisor and educator. Dr. Hooberman has written one previous book, Managing the Difficult Patient, co-authored with his wife Barbara Hooberman, M.D., and has one book forthcoming, Competing Theories of Interpretation: An Integrative Approach.
Chapter 1 The Therapeutic Experience Chapter 2 The Patient's World Chapter 3 The Treatment Structure Chapter 4 The Art of Defense Chapter 5 Symptom, Defense, and Character Chapter 6 Anarchy, Perversion, and Sadomasochism Chapter 7 Ambivalence Chapter 8 Hating, Forgiving, and Healing Chapter 9 Transformation Chapter 10 References Chapter 11 Index