A Personal Journey Through Psychotherapy: A Case Study Revisited

Author(s) : Susan M. Fereday

A Personal Journey Through Psychotherapy: A Case Study Revisited

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This book is a personal account of the enduring value of an appropriate psychotherapeutic intervention, and is set within the author's lifespan to date. It is also a unique view of how it feels to be the subject of a published case study.

Following a long period of resistance to the therapeutic process, a direct channel to the author's unconscious is established via the art of the written word.

It is a first person, chronological account of the psychological signposts that relentlessly point the author toward an unavoidable therapeutic encounter, one that will ultimately have the strength to contain her frightening experience of mental disturbance.

The reader is afforded the opportunity to watch the story unfold, and to draw their own academic conclusions.

Some of the psychological processes are presented in 'real' time, and will help to illustrate the link between experience, theory and practice in psychotherapy.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘How does it feel to be the subject of a case study?

In 2002 I was the subject of a published “Kleinian” case study, and years later, after completing my studies in psychotherapy and counselling, I considered writing my own account of this highly personal experience. My story is not an in-depth analysis of my experience of individual psychotherapy, but is rather an exploration of the procession of causative factors that, for me, acted like signposts, pointing the way towards a therapeutic intervention. I have written from the perspective of an emerging self. That part of me that was left behind while I grew up, had a family of my own, sought work among people who needed care and guidance, and eventually gravitated towards a career in counselling. My true self was not revealed in convenient instalments within the therapeutic process, it was plunged dramatically into a reality that had only previously been glimpsed at from behind a veil of dusty false layers.’
— From the author’s Introduction

‘A beautifully written book, in which Susan documents how the passages of childhood, adolescence, and maturity were curtailed and disrupted after her mother became disabled with a life-threatening illness. Her role of carer shadowed her education, her failed marriage, and the birth of her children. There were bleak, chaotic, dark times when all seemed unendurable. But, in persevering with her training in professional social work, Susan turned to psychoanalytic psychotherapy for support, and could accept and understand Melanie Klein's concept that feelings of love and hate, compassion and frustration, co-exist and fluctuate throughout the life cycle. In investigating other forms of psychotherapy, Susan finds also that John Bowlby’s explanation of the attachment process encourages her to form a strong attachment to her therapist, thus enabling her to move forward from a secure base for her future development.’
— Dr Cassie Cooper, FBACP; UKCP registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist

About the Author(s)

Susan Fereday was born in London in 1947. She was educated at a London secondary modern school and went on to achieve a BA in art and design, a diploma in counselling, and an advanced diploma in psychotherapy and counselling. Initially working as a laboratory technician, she changed to a career in social work, and for eighteen years worked with children, young people with physical disabilities, and people with mental health issues and learning difficulties. She now lives in France with her second husband and a variety of animals. She has two children and seven grandchildren.

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