In this book the eminent psychoanalyst Leonard Shengold looks at why some people are resistant to change, even when it seems to promise a change for the better. Drawing on a lifetime of clinical experience as well as wide readings of world literature, Shengold shows how early childhood relationships with parents can lead to a powerful conviction that change means loss.Dr. Shengold, who is well known for his work on the lasting effects of childhood trauma and child abuse in such seminal books as Soul Murder and Soul Murder Revisited, continues his exploration into the consequences of early psychological injury and loss. In the examples of his patients and in the lives and work of such figures as Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Wordsworth, and Henrik Ibsen, Shengold looks at the different ways in which unconscious impressions connected with early experiences and fantasies about parents are integrated into individual lives. He shows the difficulties hes encountered with his patients in raising these memories to the conscious level where they can be known and owned; and he also shows, in his survey of literary figures, how these memories can become part of the creative process.Haunted by Parents offers a deeply humane reflection on the values and limitations of therapy, on memory and the lingering effects of the past, and on the possibility of recognizingthe promise of the future.

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