Schopenhauer's Porcupines Intimacy and Its Dilemmas Kindle Í eBook

The classic compilation of psychological case studies from a master clinician and lyrical writer Each generation of therapists can boast of only a few writers likeDeborah Luepnitz whose sympathy and wit shine in her fine luminous prose In Schopenhauer's Porcupines she recounts five true stories from her practice stories of patients who range from the super rich to the destitute who grapple with panic attacks psychosomatic illness marital despair and sexual recklessness Intimate original and triumphantly funny Schopenhauer's Porcupines goes further than any other book in illuminating how talking helps

10 thoughts on “Schopenhauer's Porcupines Intimacy and Its Dilemmas

  1. says:

    I can easily see someone giving this five stars Here's my uick run down of the pros and consPROS the writing is very accessible and engaging yet not condescending this is a great account of the experience of the actual practice psychotherapy from the perspective of the an analyst Luepnitz effectively intersperses interesting and useful bits of theoretical information throughout the text If you pay attention you'll know about some technical elements of psychotherapy after having read the text She manages to convey the information painlessly no small task probably inspirational to many people will probably get you excited about the power of communication as therapeutic in itselfCONS actually CONThis is implicitly a pro psychoanalysis book But as the author to her credit clearly explains near the beginning there is a deep selection bias in her choice of cases This is necessarily the case since pissed off former patients probably wouldn't be inclined to sign a release form to have the gist of their stories included in the book The problem is that we don't see any of the cases in which Luepnitz failed to help her patients Is her brand of therapy valuable? We can't know if we only see positive cases There are three reasons that I can see to be skeptical about the value of what Luepnitz is doing The first is an extension of the only positive cases point Luepnitz' approach is not compared to null cases maybe people just get better with time even without any therapy or other approaches to therapy eg cognitive behavioral therapy The second is that some of the associations the Luepnitz makes seem incredibly dubious To put it bluntly while I believe that she is sincere it reads like she just makes things up when she's with a client That's not necessarily harmful and it may even be helpful Maybe she really is helping by getting the clients to form associations which 1allow them to express themselves andor 2construct an empowering narrative that allows them to cope and get past problems If that's the case then an astrologer or tarot card reader would do just as well Third it's not at all clear how this approach could be falsified Many of these clients take many years before they make clear progress toward mental health What would it take for Luepnitz to say Okay my method is invalid? It seems that she could always excuse any failure with He needs time or He's just repressing which means that he needs even sessions To my knowledge other approaches to therapy are better at specifying the failure conditions of their method and this makes them less suspectIf however you think that a Luepnitz like approach to therapy is defensible and many very smart people think it is this will definitely be a feel good book for you You'll really enjoy it

  2. says:

    A really nice book for practicing therapists I'm a social worker practicing as a therapist in a community mental health agency meaning working exclusively with the Medicaid population Often times when I read something on therapy praxis from the psychoanalytic perspective coughYalomcough it's just way too bougie to feel applicable to my caseload However I was surprised to find this Luepntiz text doesn't give the same impression For example I about # my pants when I read that Luepnitz used to work in a psych hospital for less than 9 an hour Yes it was decades ago but that really put into perspective that Luepnitz DID have experience working in a difficult agency with tough large caseloads and little compensation Her work with Emily really touched me as it felt very very much like what I try to do although I confess I can't imagine having the same client for over 6 years I agree with other reviewers that at time's the author's poetic license with client report waxes unbelievable but I think she conveys the relevant thematic content Overall a very worth while read

  3. says:

    A troop of porcupines is milling about on a cold winter's day In order to keep from freezing the animals move closer together Just as they are close enough to huddle however they start to poke each other with their uills In order to stop the pain they spread out lose the advantage of commingling and begin to shiver This sends them back in search of each other and the cycle repeats as they struggle to find a comfortable distance between entanglement and freezingThe book has a cool title and an interesting fable from Schopenhauer uoted on the cover Luepnitz can draw you into her case studies with her prose but not all the presented cases are thought provoking or about the contradictions between the desire for intimacy and the desire for solitude and independence As a psychoanalyst she sprinkles her case studies with uotes from Freud and Winnicott and talks to her patients about resolving their supposed Oedipus complex or interpreting their dreams etc I was pleased not to read her telling anyone about their castration anxiety Psychotherapy can work by simply having someone with good common sense listen to your problems and suggest a few things If this book proves anything it’s how actually irrelevant all the concepts and methods of psychoanalysis are to the process of talk therapyPsychoanalysis can always be amusing especially their interpretation of dreams This from a case study about a couple in which the wife insists on having a second child but the husband doesn’t want it Luepnitz asks the man to tell her about his dreams He says Last night I had a dream that I had bought a Walkman Her interpretation? It means “Walk man”

  4. says:

    It is a profound challenge to share the mysteries and miracles of psychotherapy In five narratives of long term therapies Deborah Anna Luepnitz sheds light on the slow and deep processes involved for both therapist and patient Utilizing the narrative of Schopenhauer's porcupines she invites us to deeply connect with our own comfort zones and limits with our own experience of both distance and intimacyThis personal and accessible book affirms the value and uniueness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy Ahead of her times perhaps this book was published in 2002 the author weaves and incorporates feminism human rights and issues of inclusivity into themes that are both individual and collective Ultimately she reminds us that our re connection with our wholeness is both possible and worthwhile Her patients return to the world feeling safer and kinder and comfortable with who they are able to love themselves and to love others and to share that emergent goodness with the world

  5. says:

    Personally I think it's impossible to read this book without becoming struck by how emotional all of these stories are Dr Lueopnitz writes like a novelist who is intricately aware of human suffering She discusses psychoanalytic theory in a way that is understandable to all and embraces the experience of the subjectivity of the analyst Brilliant I look forward to reading it all again

  6. says:

    Luepnitz tells five stories of patients she has worked with in therapy All are resounding successes though all come from wildly different backgrounds Luepnitz is a traditional Freudian therapist and that bothered me at first But as I read on I could see Luepnitz seems to use traditional Freudian techniues to read a patient much like I read the characters in a book It was a fascinating read watching as patients became and forthcoming with their problems and difficulties Do all people even the most psychologically healthy have secrets? How is it that some people deal with the world despite their secrets and others fail to do so? What do therapists do to help patients become healthier? How can these techniues be brought into common usage in all relationships? These were uestions I thought about as I readSchopenhauer tells the story of porcupines and their need for warmth as a metaphor for people and their need for love Porcupines are cold and approach other porcupines for warmth As the porcupine gets closer and closer he gets warmer and warmer but it also becomes and painful for the porcupines and the porcupines began to move apart Some porcupines Schopenhauer notes have so much internal warmth that they have little need for other porcupines

  7. says:

    A solid 3 I liked it but wasn't struck by it being something amazing The author Deborah is a psycho analyst so all the stories are about psychotherapy I think talk therapy can be immensely helpful to some people but it would have been nice if there had been just one case where it turned out that it didn't help I feel like this book paints a very rosy picture of her work Still an engrossing read Although my life has not been nearly as difficult as some of the clients discussed in the book I took some good points away I could definitely see bits of myself in some of the charactersThe writing style was pretty easy to follow once I got past the introduction If you're having trouble getting past the intro try just skipping it You can always return to it at the end which is what I did Still found it much less interesting than the case studies but at least I could get through it

  8. says:

    Loved it 4 Stars Again this book and author re familiarized myself with some great authors and intellectuals that I voraciously read when younger which i need to re read now that the ravages of memory loss will make them and their theories new again A must read

  9. says:

    Reading the stories in the book I remembered a wonderful uote from the tv show “in treatment” in which Paul Weston’s therapist tell him “At certain point you have to move past the stories that you've assigned to your life these steadfast explanations you've settled on You have to look at yourself again for real answers You have to take that risk”In away therapy IS about examining your own story and it is not a simple task I loved the book very much and I loved how the stories keep getting better and detailed with each chapter My favorite of them all is the one titled A Darwinian Finch”

  10. says:

    Surprisingly engaging and entanglingThe storytelling and descriptions are not less not than what makes the rhetoric cohesive and captivating to the reader just at the perfect level No matter who the character was or what their story was I’ve empathized over and over with what characters think or feel their fears and their justifications I’ve been excited to the greatest extent as their story unravels as if I was actually their psychotherapist or the patient itself connecting all these dots with theiror psychoanalyst help It has also enlightened me by debunking some of the common myths I had acuired about psychoanalytic concepts by putting them in context rather than abstract idle ideas I would strongly recommend this to anyone who finds grappling with how human psyche works stimulating One point the book keeps getting better as the chapters advance so be a little patient if the first few chapters disappoint you a little bit I feel like I know about myself or at least have tools to analyze different aspects of my thoughts and emotions by reading this book