Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis don’t always work. Inevitably, a therapy or analysis may fail to alleviate the suffering of the patient. The reasons why this occurs are as manifold as the patients and analysts themselves, and oftentimes are a source of frustration and vexation to clinicians, who aren’t always eager to discuss them. Taking the challenge head-on, Arnold Goldberg proposes to demystify failure in an effort to determine its essential meaning before determining its causes. Utilizing multiple vignettes of failed cases, he offers a deconstruction and a subsequent taxonomy of failure, delineating cases that go bad after six months from cases that never get off the ground, mismatches from impasses, failures of empathy from failures of inattention. Commonalities in the experience of failure – conceived as less a misapplication of technique than consequences of a co-constructed yet fraught therapeutic relationship – begin to emerge for scrutiny.
Introducing Failure. The Failure Project. Facing Failure. Dismissing Failure. Deconstructing Failure. A Taxonomy of Failure. Failure to Launch. Interruptions, Interferences, and Bad Endings. On Losing One’s Patients. Analyzability and Failure. How Does Analysis Fail? Me and Max: A Misalliance of Goals. Empathy and Failure. Rethinking Empathy. Self Psychology and Failure. The Future for Failure.
Arnold Goldberg, M.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, where he was the Director from 1989-1992, and the Cynthia Oudejans Harris Professor of Psychiatry at Rush Medical College. The author of numerous articles and reviews, he was the editor of The Annual of Psychoanalysis from 1988-1991 and Progress in Self Psychology from 1985-2002, and has written or edited 30 books. He was the recipient of the Sigourney Award in 2006 for distinguished contributions in the field of psychoanalysis.