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Paul Renn, "The Silent Past and the Invisible Present. Memory, Trauma, and Representation in Psychotherapy", Routledge, January 2012




Drawing on research in the fields of cognitive and developmental psychology, attachment, trauma, and neuroscience, as well as 20 years in forensic and private practice, Paul Renn deftly illustrates the ways in which this research may be used to inform an integrated empirical/hermeneutic model of clinical practice. He suggests that silent, invisible processes derived from the past maintain non-optimal ways of experiencing and relating in the present, and that a neuroscience understanding of the dynamic nature of memories, and of the way in which the implicit and explicit memory systems operate and interact, is salient to a concomitant understanding of trauma, personality development, and therapeutic action. Specifically, Renn argues that an intersubjective psychodynamic model can use the power of an emotionally meaningful therapeutic relationship to gradually facilitate both relational and neurological changes in patients with trauma histories. Taken as a whole, these themes reflect a paradigmatic shift in psychoanalytic thinking about clinical work and the process of change.

Table of Contents

Memory and Freudian Psychoanalysis. The Two Main Memory Systems: A Neuroscience Perspective. Contemporary Perspectives on Psychological Trauma and Affect Regulation. Memory, Trauma, and Dissociation: The Re-emergence of Trauma-related Childhood Memories. Psychoanalysis and the Internal World: How Different Theories Understand the Concept of Mind. Attachment and Intersubjectivity: Developmental Perspectives on the Internal World. A Contemporary Relational Model: Integrating Attachment, Trauma, and Neuroscience Research. Intersubjectivity, Attachment, and Implicit Memory: The Development of Representational Models. Attachment, Trauma, and Intimate Violence. Brief, Time-limited Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Case of Intimate Violence from a Forensic Setting. The Role of Explicit and Implicit Memory in Therapeutic Action.

Author/Editor Biography

Paul Renn is a UKCP accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in London and a lecturer on the Kids Company training course. He trained at the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He has a background in the National Probation Service in London, developing a particular interest in working with violent men and couples from an attachment theory and research perspective. He has presented papers at international conferences, devised and facilitated workshops on attachment and trauma and violent attachments, and had articles published in professional journals and books in the UK and abroad. He is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry.

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