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The Therapeutic Narrative : Fictional Relationships and the Process of Psychological Change, Paperback / softback Book

The Therapeutic Narrative : Fictional Relationships and the Process of Psychological Change Paperback / softback


How do people change? Longing for personal growth and transformation is a central theme of our times.

Psychotherapy seeks to change the dynamics behind people's symptoms and conflicts.

Writers, too, are fascinated by this theme, and have explored it frequently in their stories and characters.

In this book, Barbara and Richard Almond, both psychoanalysts, explore a variety of novels that describe internal, personal change.

They discover that there are fascinating parallels between the processes that lead to change in literary characters and the mechanisms observed in psychotherapeutic change. From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden to Anne Tyler's IThe Accidental Tourist, the plot begins with a character struggling with personality limitations.

A new person appears in the story; a bond is formed with the central character.

In the relationship that follows, the two struggle. Confrontational and loving interactions lead the protagonist through a process of gradual change. The authors delineate a therapeutic narrative: the plot of change in both psychotherapy and literature.

By comparing a variety of novels, they elaborate the elements of this therapeutic narrative and draw provocative conclusions about the mechanisms of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: general
  • ISBN: 9780275955793

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