Stories can explore complicated ideas and bring shared experiences to life. Footage of the Knicks’ upset win in the NBA finals triggers a traumatic memory of family tragedy. A young girl starts bullying her best friend after her big sister goes off to sleepaway camp. An adolescent works through her feelings of anger at her father over her parents’ divorce after discovering his infidelity. A patient’s ugly shoes remind an analyst of her own childhood scars. A daughter recognizes her Holocaust-survivor father’s resilience as she comes to terms with his vulnerability after a life-altering accident. Bringing together these narratives and many more, When the Garden Isn’t Eden reveals how psychoanalysis sheds light on the troubles of everyday life.
Through poignant and sometimes painful stories from their personal and professional lives, three practicing psychoanalysts demonstrate the richness of psychodynamic thinking. Each chapter offers an illustrative and powerful personal vignette followed by an analytical reflection that explicates key psychodynamic concepts, showing how these ideas inform and deepen our understanding of what makes us human. Blending storytelling and psychotherapy, When the Garden Isn’t Eden makes psychodynamic theory vivid and accessible to students, teachers, clinicians, and anyone curious about how therapists work and think.