By Melvin R. Lansky
Despite the burgeoning literature at the function of the daddy in baby improvement and on fathering as a developmental level, unusually little has been written concerning the psychiatrically impaired father. In Fathers Who Fail, Melvin Lansky treatments this obvious lacuna within the literature. Drawing on modern psychoanalysis, kin platforms idea, and the sociology of clash, he delineates the spectrum of psychopathological predicaments that undermine the power of the daddy to be a father. Out of his delicate integration of the intrapsychic and intrafamilial contexts of paternal failure emerges a richly textured portrait of psychiatrically impaired fathers, of fathers who fail.
Lansky's probing dialogue of narcissistic equilibrium within the relations process allows him to chart the normal historical past universal to the symptomatic impulsive activities of impaired fathers. He then considers particular manifestations of paternal disorder inside of this shared framework of heightened familial clash and the failure of intrafamilial defenses to universal shame. family violence, suicide, the intensification of trauma, posttraumatic nightmares, catastrophic reactions in natural mind syndrome, and the homicide of a wife are one of the significant "symptoms" that he explores. In every one example, Lansky rigorously sketches the development of vulnerability and turbulence from the father's character, to the relatives approach, and thence to the symptomatic eruption in question. In his concluding bankruptcy, he reviews tellingly at the subconscious hindrances - at the a part of either sufferers and therapists - to treating impaired fathers. The stumbling blocks minimize throughout assorted medical modalities, underscoring the necessity for multimodal responses to fathers who fail.
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Additional info for Fathers Who Fail: Shame and Psychopathology in the Family System
Depression, seen as involving anger at internalized objects that regulate self-regard, could to some extent be understood mechanically. None of these explanations was, of course, complete, but each held out the promise of a certain grasp of the topics that could not be extended to the understanding of shame. The need for a mechanistic explanation has in general caused neglect of phenomena associated with self-consciousness, and indeed most studies of the superego ignore the dynamics of being seen as a self in the eyes of others in favor of some mechanical attempt to describe the process of internalization.
Manifest anxiety became clearly associ ated, for the first time, to his fear of reprisal from me. Interpretive attention to this transference anxiety Jed to his feeling much better and taking appropriate steps to establish himself in his new firm. Further associations went to his provocations of his father, which were designed for him to obtain nurturance and care when he was fearful of dealing with the world and could not get soothing from his mother. Behind the fear of retaliation, then, was the wish that he could be in a helpless, childlike state so that father would care for him, cater to his regressive needs, and provide soothing, nurturance, and support.
She resumed with a clear awareness of the self-sabotage that had threatened the treatment and a fearful eagerness about exploring her tendency to undermine herself. She bewailed her lack of accomplishment in life, her lifelong pattern of obsequiousness peppered with angry out bursts, and the type of provocativeness typified by her financial bunglings in the analysis and in the marriage that sabotaged what seemed to be her own projects and her own credibility. She increasingly saw herself as the author of her own unhappy marital destiny and a person shockingly like her own mother, whom she saw as contemptible because she complained about her marriage but did not manage either to deal with the marriage or to leave it.