Cyclical Psychodynamics and the Contextual Self articulates in new ways the essential features and most recent extensions of Paul Wachtel's powerfully integrative theory of cyclical psychodynamics.
Wachtel is widely regarded as the leading advocate for integrative thinking in personality theory and the theory and practice of psychotherapy.
He is a contributor to cutting edge thought in the realm of relational psychoanalysis and to highlighting the ways in which the relational point of view provides especially fertile ground for integrating psychoanalytic insights with the ideas and methods of other theoretical and therapeutic orientations.
In this book, Wachtel extends his integration of psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, and experiential viewpoints to examine closely the nature of the inner world of subjectivity, its relation to the transactional world of daily life experiences, and the impact on both the larger social and cultural forces that both shape and are shaped by individual experience.
Here, he discusses in a uniquely comprehensive fashiong the subtleties of the clinical interaction, the findings of systematic research, and the role of social, economic, and historical forces in our lives.
The chapters in this book help to transcend the tunnel vision that can lead therapists of different orientations to ignore the important discoveries and innovations from competing approaches.
Explicating the pervasive role of vicious circles and self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives, Cyclical Psychodynamics and the Contextual Self shows how deeply intertwined the subjective, the intersubjective, and the cultural realms are, and points to new pathways to therapeutic and social change.
Both a theoretical tour de force and an immensely practical guide to clinical practice, this book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and students of human behavior of all backgrounds and theoretical orientations.