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January 26 , 2008

The Presence of the Absent

Therapy with Families and their Ghosts


Where live our most cherished (or painful) memories? Where do our beloved (or dreaded) exist when departed? In the gray zone between our self and our world, they can exist as internal reminiscences for some and striking images for others; individually or collectively perceived and interacted; vividly or as tenuous presences.
This book familiarizes us with six examples of individuals and families in therapy who live and interact with the presence of their absent, pivotal people in their lives who either died or disappeared, but are still there. It familiarizes us with their plight in a tender, compassionate style, describing in detail interviews and therapeutic transformations and, in several cases, follow-ups as well as echoes of those processes. It teaches us to respect those presences as well as how to help families and individuals treasure them…and in many cases to let them go.
Written in a vivid, intense language, The Presence of the Absent offers a marvelous insight into these processes that may prove transformative for the therapist (both family and individually-oriented), as well as enlightening to the general public.

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