The Language of Perversion and the Language of Love

The Language of Perversion and the Language of Love

by Sheldon Bach

Hardcover

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Overview

From long before the Trojan War to the ethnic cleansings of our own century, people have often used their potential to treat other human beings as things. It is this treatment of another person as a thing rather than as a human being that the eminent psychoanalyst, Dr. Sheldon Bach, sees as a perversion of object relationships and that forms the background of this powerful book. Perversion is a lack of capacity for whole object love, and while this includes the sexual perversions it also includes certain character perversions, character disorders and psychotic conditions. Dr. Bach's clinical work has led him to conclude that sexual perversions are generally inconsistent with whole object love. Therapeutic experience suggests that the pathways to object love may be strewn with outgrown and discarded sexual perversions. But whether a sexual perversion per se exists or not, the issue of how it happens that one person can degrade another to the status of a thing is an issue of importance not only for the psychoanalysis of character but for our larger understanding of human nature as well. Perversions are attempts to simplistically resolve or defend against some of the central paradoxes of human existence. How is it possible for us to be born of someone's flesh yet be separate from them, or to live in one's own experience yet observe oneself from the outside? How are we able to deal with feelings of being both male and female, child and adult, or to negotiate between the worlds of internal and external stimulation? People with perversions have special difficulty in dealing with the ambiguity of human relationships. They have not developed the transitional psychic space that would allow them to contain paradox, making it difficult for them to recognize the reality and legitimacy of multiple points of view. Thus they tend to think in either/or dichotomies, to search for dominant/submissive relationships and to perceive the world from idiosyncratically subjective or coldly objective perspectives. In this

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765702302
Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/1999
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,002,644
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Sheldon Bach received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University, where he was a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow. He interned at Jacobi Hospital and was on the staff and visiting staff of Jacobi and Montefiore Hospitals and a member of the Faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for about twenty years. He is currently Clinical Professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Freudian Society, a Fellow of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is in full-time private practice in New York City.

What People are Saying About This

Fred Pine

This book is simultaneously a 'good read,' in the sense of a novel that one cannot put down, and a feast to be savored slowly. It has a wealth of clinical detail that makes it vivid. I recommend it highly.

Arnold D. Richards and Arlene Kramer Richards

In this clinically important work, Bach shows us a new way of listening and responding to difficult, perverse, and borderline patients. Sheldon Bach is a psychoanalyst with the unique ability to derive important truths from the study of severe mental illness and extreme examples of depravity. Bach invokes the insights of poets, novelists, and diarists. This breadth of culture enhances the depth of his humane understanding; the depth of his psychoanalytic experience enhances the breadth of his clinical wisdom. This is an engrossing work indeed.

Eugene J. Mahon

Sheldon Bach shows how the language of informed listening may be the only instrument that can make the bizarre not an outcast, but merely another existential member of a complex family called humanity. Dr. Bach's empathic listening is the essence of all language which is not merely interested in the sound of words but in what Robert Frost has called the sound of sense. Dr. Bach has cultivated this sound of sense knowing that it is the royal road to healing and that the language of healing is, after all, one of the great therapeutic aspects of love. This book reaches into the perverse and loving in all of us and makes the human condition a little more human, which is no small achievement.

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