This book explores the roots of borderline states of mind in early relational trauma and shows how it is possible, and necessary, to visit 'the darkest places' in order to work through these traumas. This is despite the fact that re-experiencing such traumas is unbearable for the patient and they naturally want to enlist the analyst in ensuring that they will never be experienced again. This is the backdrop for the extreme pressures and roles that are constellated in the analysis that can lead to impasse or breakdown of the analytic relationship. The author explores how these areas can be negotiated safely and that, whilst drawing heavily on recent developments in attachment, relational, trauma and infant development theory, an analytic attitude needs to be maintained in order to integrate these experiences and allow the individual to feel, finally, accepted and whole. The book builds on Freud's views of repetition compulsion and re-enactment and develops Jung's concept of the traumatic complex.
Marcus West is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology in private practice in Sussex, England. He is the author of a number of papers, one of which was joint winner of the Michael Fordham Prize 2004. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology and is currently Chair of Psychotherapy Sussex. He is author of three books: 'Feeling, Being and the Sense of Self', 'Understanding Dreams in Clinical Practice', and 'Into the Darkest Places'.