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The Language of Perversion and the Language of Love

From long before the Trojan War to the ethnic cleansings of our own century, people have often used their potential to treat other human beings as things. It is this treatment of another person as a thing rather than as a human being that the eminent psychoanalyst, Dr. Sheldon Bach, sees as a perversion of object relationships and that forms the background of this powerful book. Perversion is a lack of capacity for whole object love, and while this includes the sexual perversions it also includes certain character perversions, character disorders and psychotic conditions. In this brilliant exposition Dr. Bach shows how some of the paradoxes of self/other, subjectivity/objectivity, male/female and instinct/object are negotiated in both illness and health.
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About the Author

Sheldon Bach received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University, where he was a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow. He interned at Jacobi Hospital and was on the staff and visiting staff of Jacobi and Montefiore Hospitals and a member of the Faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for about twenty years. He is currently Clinical Professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Freudian Society, a Fellow of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is in full-time private practice in New York City.


This book is simultaneously a 'good read,' in the sense of a novel that one cannot put down, and a feast to be savored slowly. It has a wealth of clinical detail that makes it vivid. I recommend it highly. -- Fred Pine Sheldon Bach shows how the language of informed listening may be the only instrument that can make the bizarre not an outcast, but merely another existential member of a complex family called humanity. Dr. Bach's empathic listening is the essence of all language which is not merely interested in the sound of words but in what Robert Frost has called the sound of sense. Dr. Bach has cultivated this sound of sense knowing that it is the royal road to healing and that the language of healing is, after all, one of the great therapeutic aspects of love. This book reaches into the perverse and loving in all of us and makes the human condition a little more human, which is no small achievement. -- Eugene J. Mahon In this clinically important work, Bach shows us a new way of listening and responding to difficult, perverse, and borderline patients. Sheldon Bach is a psychoanalyst with the unique ability to derive important truths from the study of severe mental illness and extreme examples of depravity. Bach invokes the insights of poets, novelists, and diarists. This breadth of culture enhances the depth of his humane understanding; the depth of his psychoanalytic experience enhances the breadth of his clinical wisdom. This is an engrossing work indeed. -- Arnold D. Richards and Arlene Kramer Richards

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