HAROLD SEARLES: LIFELONG WORK OF A MASTER CLINICIAN

A Correction to this article was published on 27 July 2018

This article has been updated

Abstract

Harold F. Searles was one of the most gifted and innovative clinicians of psychoanalysis. His clinical work arouses interest on its own merit, as well as for the ways in which it shaped his highly innovative thinking. We can only imagine what special processes were developing in Searles’s inner world under the everlasting impact of his experience with psychotic patients and from his life in general. Searles focused extensively on how the psychotic individuals’ mental distortions impacted their capacity to form personal relationships in general, and the role of the analyst and countertransference in treatment. This unique viewpoint helped him sustain a creative commitment to psychotic patients, regarded by many as unsuitable for psychoanalysis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Change history

  • 27 July 2018

    Unfortunately the name of the author was given incorrectly. It should be read: Francisco Balbuena. We apologize for this mistake.

REFERENCES

  1. Akhtar, S. (2015). Some psychoanalytic reflections on the concept of dignity. American Journal Psychoanalysis, 75, 458–461.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Arieti, S. (1969). The meeting of the inner and external world: In schizophrenia, everyday life and creativity. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 29, 115–130.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Arieti, S. (1974). Interpretation of schizophrenia (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Aron, L. (1992). From Ferenczi to Searles and contemporary relational approaches: Commentary on Mark Blechner’s “Working in the countertransference”. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2, 181–190.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Aron, L. (1996). A meeting of minds. Mutuality in psychoanalysis. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Aron, L. & Lieberman, A. (2017). In memory of Harold Searles: 1918–2015. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27, 182–191.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Atlas, G. & Aron, L. (2017). Dramatic dialogue: Contemporary clinical practice (Relational Perspectives Books Series). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Balbuena, F. (2015). Revisiting Dr. Rosen: Villain or unjustly-treated innovator? International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 24, 172–181.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Balbuena, F. (2016). The Relevance of Arieti’s work in the age of medication. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 76, 266–280.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Benatar, M. (2008). A reconsideration of the clinical work of Harold Searles. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 9, 563–577.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Berman, E. (1999). Sándor Ferenczi today: reviving the broken dialectic. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 59, 303–313.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Boigon, G. (1965). The role of anxiety in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychoanalysis., 25, 171–180.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Borgogno, F. V. (2010). Working with “difficult” patients: An interview with Jorge García Badaracco. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 70, 341–360.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Boyer, L. B. (1983). The regressed patient. N.Y.: Jason Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Dolnick, E. (1998). Madness on the couch. Blaming the victim in the heyday of psychoanalysis. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Frosch, J. (1983). The psychotic process. New York: International Universities Press Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Gonella, V. (2005). The contribution of Harold Searles to an emerging therapeutic relationship with a chronic schizophrenic man. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 33, 705–724.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Grotstein, J. S. (2001). A rationale for the psychoanalytically-informed psychotherapy of schizophrenia and other psychoses: towards the concept of ‘rehabilitative psychoanalysis’. In P. Williams (Ed.), A language for psychosis (pp. 27–36). London: Whurr.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Hornstein, G. A. (2000). To redeem one person is to redeem the world. The life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. New York: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Jackson, M. (2009). Great Britain. Part 1: The contribution of Kleinian innovations to the treatment of psychotic patients. In Y. O. Alanen, A.-L. Silver & B. Martindale (Eds.), Psychotherapeutic approaches to schizophrenic psychoses: Past, present and future (pp. 78–92). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Kernberg, O. (1965). Notes on countertransference. The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 13, 38–56.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Langs, R. & Searles, H. F. (1980). Intrapsychic and interpersonal dimensions of treatment. New York: Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Maroda, K. J. (1991). The power of countertransference: Innovations in analytic technique. Chichester: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Mitchell, S. A. & Black, M. J. (1995). Freud and beyond. A history of modern psychoanalytic thought. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Ogden, T. H. (1989). The primitive edge of experience. New York: Jason Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Ogden, T. H. (2007). Reading Harold Searles. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 88, 353–369.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Ophir, O. (2015). Psychosis, psychoanalysis and psychiatry in postwar USA: On the borderland of madness. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Payne, S. M. & Winnicott, D. L. (1963). The nonhuman environment in normal development and in schizophrenia (Book Review). The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44, 236–238.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Rubins, J. L. (1969). A holistic (Horney) approach to the psychoses. The schizophrenias. Part I. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 29, 131–146.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Rubins, J. L. (1970). A holistic (Horney) approach to the psychoses. The schizophrenias. Part II. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 30, 30–50.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Salzman, L. (1966). The psychoanalytic approach to the psychoses. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 26, 69–72.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Searles, H. F. (1955). Dependence processes in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia. In H. F. Searles (Ed.), Collected papers on schizophrenia and related subjects (pp. 114–156). New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Searles, H. F. (1959). The effort to drive the other person crazy–an element in the etiology and psychotherapy of schizophrenia. Psychology and Psychotherapy, 32, 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Searles, H. F. (1960). The nonhuman environment in normal development and schizophrenia (p. 1960). New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Searles, H. F. (1961). The evolution of the mother transference in psychotherapy with the schizophrenic patient. In H. F. Searles (Ed.), Collected Papers on schizophrenia and related subjects (pp. 349–380). New York, NY: International University Press, 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Searles, H. F. (1962). Scorn, disillusionment and adoration in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia. In H. F. Searles (Ed.), Collected Papers on schizophrenia and related subjects (pp. 605–625). New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Searles, H. F. (1963). The place of neutral therapist responses in psychotherapy with the schizophrenic patient. In H. F. Searles (Ed.), Collected Papers on schizophrenia and related subjects (pp. 626–653). New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Searles, H. F. (1965). Collected Papers on schizophrenia and related subjects. New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Searles, H. F. (1979a). Countertransference and related subjects. Selected papers. New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Searles, H. F. (1979b). Psychoanalytic therapy with schizophrenic patients in a private-practice context. In H. F. Searles (Ed.), Countertransference and related subjects Selected papers (pp. 582–602). New York, NY: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Searles, H. (1985). Separation and loss in psychoanalytic therapy with borderline patients: Further remarks. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 45, 9–27.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Searles, H. F. (1986). My work with borderline patients (p. 1986). Northvale, NJ: Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Searles, H. F. (1989). Borderline psychopathology as revealed by the patient’s (a) pauses and (b) ungrammatical word order. In A.-L. S. Silver (Ed.), Psychoanalysis and psychosis (pp. 289–318). Madison, CT: International University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Searles, H. F. (2017). Concerning transference and countertransference. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27, 2, 192–210. Written in 1948-49 and published in the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in 1978-79.

  45. Sedgwick, D. (1993). Jung and Searles: A comparative study. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Sheiner, S. B. (1964). On the therapy of schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 24, 167–174.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  47. Sheiner, S. B. (1965). The schizophrenic process: Some further considerations. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 25, 158–166.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Silver, A.-L. S. (1996). Women who lead. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 56, 3–16.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Silver, A.-L. S. (2012). Reminiscence. My analysis with Harold Searles. Division/Review. A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum, 4, 33–38.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Stanton, M. (1992). Harold Searles talks to Martin Stanton. Free Associations, 3, 323–339.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Stone, M. H., Albert, H. D., Forrest, D. V. & Arieti, S. (1983). Treating schizophrenic patients. A clinical/analytical approach. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Stone, M. H. (1991). The Psychodynamics of schizophrenia I: Introduction and psychoanalysis. In J. G. Howells (Ed.), The concept of schizophrenia: Historical perspectives (pp. 125–151). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Souffir, V. (2005). Harold Searles. Paris: PUF.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Vida, J. (2003). Not “filed away as finally dealt with”. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 63, 39–47.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  55. Volkan, V. (1995). The infantile psychotic self and its fates. New York: Jason Aronson.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Young, R. M. (1995). The vicissitudes of transference and countertransference: the work of Harold Searles. Free Associations, 5, 171–195.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Young, R. M. (2000). Talk given at the Tavistock Clinic, March 28, 2000.

  58. Weigert, E. (1970). The courage to love. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Winer, R. (2015). My Searles. Psychiatry, 78, 245–250.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Francisco Balbuena.

Additional information

Address correspondence to Prof. Francisco Balbuena, C/ Gólgota, nº 8; 2-D, 41007-Seville. (Spain); email: balbuena@uhu.es

The original version of this article was revised: To the name of the author given incorrectly. It should read Francisco Balbuena. We apologize for this mistake.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Balbuena, F. HAROLD SEARLES: LIFELONG WORK OF A MASTER CLINICIAN. Am J Psychoanal 78, 287–306 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-018-9143-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Searles
  • schizophrenia
  • psychodynamic treatment of psychotic patients
  • borderline patients
  • countertransference