The Consulting Room and Beyond
Psychoanalytic Work and Its Reverberations in the Analyst's Life
Foreword by Donnel Stern
Routledge – 2008 – 168 pages
The Consulting Room and Beyond is not a typical example of clinical writing in the field of psychoanalysis. Therese Ragen, pushing the boundaries of the genre, thoughtfully explores in a very immediate way the intersubjective nature of psychoanalysis, particularly looking at the role of the psychoanalyst’s subjectivity, both how it influences and is influenced by the psychoanalytic relationship. The profound ways in which analyst and patient affect each other are captured as the author moves from a moment with a patient, to one of her own memories, to a dream, to a professional consultation and back to the session with the patient. Ragen’s detailed descriptions of her subjective experiences and clinical skill help to weave the anecdotes into a compelling narrative, worthy of the attention of theorists, academics and clinicians alike.
"Ragen's ability to seamlessly integrate the deeply felt rhythms of her internal life with those of her patients and the larger psychoanalytic community will resonate with seasoned and novice therapists, alike. Through the lens of nuance, detail and deep compassion within these three interconnected worlds, she offers a unique clarity of mind with which to confront core issues of knowledge, engagement and connection." - Lewis Aron, Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA
"In Therese Ragen's The Consulting Room and Beyond, literary non-fiction now includes a model of personal psychoanalytic writing of such mastery that I could easily retitle her book "Portrait of the Artist as Psychoanalyst." Through a series of gripping and evocative personal essays Ragen liberates the image of psychoanalytic treatment from its time-worn mythology of being an objective technique that holds special power to discern hidden truths inadvertently revealed by another’s unguarded speech. By lifting the veil from an analyst’s vulnerability to the unbidden but inevitable intrusiveness of her life history into the clinical relationship, Ragen’s blend of therapeutic sophistication, personal candor, and breathtaking writing illuminates the truth of what is most fundamental to being an effective psychotherapist – one's openness to being a human being." - Philip M. Bromberg, author, Standing in the Spaces: Essays on Clinical Process, Trauma, and Dissociation and Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys
"A work of generosity, sensitivity and intelligence. Therese Ragen provide a luminous window into a vibrant and mesmerizing world. Every page of The Consulting Room and Beyond speaks to the poignancy and beauty of being alive." - Carole Maso, Professor of Literary Arts, Brown University, USA
Stern, Foreword. Legacy. September 11, 2001. Longing. Ferenczi and the Case of Matt. Harold and Uncle Frank. Success. Kate.
Therese Ragen, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst practicing in Manhattan. She is a Clinical Professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Therese has published her own creative nonfiction work in the Northwest Review, the Texas Review, the Palo Alto Review and in Contemporary Psychoanalysis.