Paul Genova's finely crafted essays, which proffer a humanistic and humanizing vision of psychiatry in the face of his profession's preoccupation with target symptoms, "correct" thinking, and medication, have won him a wide and appreciative readership in the pages of Psychiatric Times. This expanded edition of The Thaw, the first collection of his writings, adds seven of Genova's recent pieces, along with one older one, his elegiac "Is American Psychiatry Terminally Ill?" of 1993, to the original collection. An eloquent defender of psychodynamic psychotherapy in an era of generic "trauma stories," drug-driven treatment, and managed care, Genova joins deep erudition, lightly worn, to a pragmatic sensibility that is respectful of the real-world options - behavioral, symptomatic, interpersonal, and otherwise - available to patients from different walks of life. Whether he is reflecting critically on the therapeutic claims of the latest treatment modalities, grappling with the meaning of boundary violations, paying homage to the transformative potential of suffering, or recounting episodes from his own personal and professional odyssey, Genova is a luminous guide, elegant and down to earth, unfailingly thoughtful and thought-provoking, to the trials, tribulations, and healing promise of day-to-day psychotherapeutic work. With vivid immediacy, The Thaw celebrates the renascent healing potential of a contemporary, person-centered psychiatry that is analytically, neuroscientifically, and politically informed. All mental health professionals and many interested lay readers will find much here to illumine their daily struggles.
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