The Disintegrating Self: Psychotherapy of Adult ADHD, Autistic Spectrum, and Somato-psychic Disorders

Author(s) : Phil Mollon

The Disintegrating Self: Psychotherapy of Adult ADHD, Autistic Spectrum, and Somato-psychic Disorders

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : April 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 336
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 36095
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202103
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202102

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Many psychotherapy clients have (undiagnosed) traits within the ADHD and autistic spectrums – two constellations of the “mistuned brain” that often overlap. The essence of ADHD is emotional dysregulation, and the sufferer displays enhanced needs for egosupportive responses from others, as he or she struggles with storms of affect, especially rage and anxiety, impulsivity, deficits in executive functioning, and attentional problems. It is often a hidden core within what is otherwise perceived as borderline or emotionally unstable personality disorder. This is a brain-based disorder – which certainly gives rise to psychodynamics but is not caused by psychodynamics. Autistic spectrum traits, which often coexist with ADHD, are similarly brain-based, associated with intense but unintegrated experience, inflexibility, and a range of efforts to cope with potentially overwhelming emotions and anxieties.

Phil Mollon, a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with forty years clinical experience, presents a wide-ranging discussion of these disorders, exploring psychoanalytic, neurobiological and psycho-energetic perspectives. He describes how the classical Freudian model, combined with Kohut’s self-psychology, provides a sound basis for effective therapy with clients whose self is under continual threat of disintegration.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This seminal book will cause a paradigm shift in the understanding and treatment of ADHD and autistic traits for all those who exist with or work with these conditions. It is holistic, rigorous, and combines up-to-the-moment neurobiological and energy understanding together with classical psychoanalytic underpinning.’
— Valerie Sinason, President of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, and author of Trauma, Dissociation and Multiplicity

‘Phil Mollon invites us to accompany him on his journey to conceptualise ADHD and autistic spectrum conditions in an integrative manner – allowing a classical psychoanalytic perspective to combine with concepts from Bion and attachment theory, drawing bridges between these and psychobiological research, exemplifying all of this with clinical vignettes. He balances the research from neuropsychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis with a deep humanistic perspective. It will be extremely helpful for clinicians.’
— Edgard Sanchez, consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist at King's College, London

‘ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are common conditions that every psychoanalytic clinician must contend with. But traditional psychoanalytic theories and therapies for these disorders are mutually contradictory and woefully disconnected from the mainstream of recent research, relating to other treatment modalities and brain science. Phil Mollon has digested this vast and disparate body of knowledge – both practical and theoretical – and integrated it with his own considerable clinical experience in a way that is immediately and concretely useful to us all.’
— Mark Solms, psychoanalyst and Professor in Neuropsychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

About the Author(s)

Phil Mollon, PhD, is a psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist, and energy psychotherapist. He is well-known as a writer and speaker on topics including shame, trauma, dissociation, self-psychology, and EMDR – and has pioneered the development of Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy. With 40 years of clinical experience, in both the British National Health Service and private practice, he has explored many different approaches, always seeking better ways of helping those who are troubled with mental health problems. His work remains rooted in psychoanalysis, whilst also incorporating neurobiological, cognitive, and energetic perspectives.

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