Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience and the Stories of Our Lives: The Relational Roots of Mental Health offers a new understanding of identity and mental health, shining the light of twenty-first century neurobiology on the core tenets of psychoanalysis. Accessibly written, it outlines the great leaps forward in neuroscience over the past three decades, and the consequent implications for understanding mental health symptoms today.
Central to the book is the idea that the seeds of mental illness are discovered not in the individual’s own fallibilities, but in the complex relationships we experience from our very first moments. Integrating the latest neuroscientific research, it depicts the individual as inherently interdependent with their environment, their neurobiological and emotional foundations framed by the context in which they are raised. Integrating traditional psychoanalytic ideas with findings from neurobiology and neuroscience, it reframes the oedipal set up, examines clinical depression as the presence of absence, and revisits resistance and the neurobiology of denial. Weaving narratives drawn from clinical practice, and highlighting implications for contemporary lives, the book is a tour de force, smashing the myth that our minds develop separately from the world around us.
This clear, lucid book, providing a timely overview of emotional and neurobiological development, will appeal to both psychologists and psychoanalysts. It will be also be a key reference work for mental health professionals, particularly those working in early years services.