Hungry for Ecstasy

Hungry for Ecstasy : Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties

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Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties by Sharon Klayman Farber explores the hunger for ecstatic experience that can lead people down the road to self-destruction, in an attempt to help mental health professionals and concerned individuals understand and identify the phenomenon and ultimately intervene with patients, friends, and loved ones.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 444 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 839.14g
  • Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765708582
  • 9780765708588

Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Rapture of Falling, Dying, and Being Born Again
The Manic Defense
The Ineffable Nature of Ecstasy
Some Thoughts about Ecstasy
"After the Ecstasy Comes the Laundry"
Ecstasy as an Altered State
The Author's Interest in Ecstasy
The Sixties and Ecstasy
Needing to Get Out of Our Own Skin
To Heaven or Hell for Ecstasy
The Spectrum of Normal and Ecstasy
Chapter 2: Altered States of Consciousness
Consciousness and the Self
What is an Altered State?
Dissociative States
The History of Altered States in Psychoanalysis
Altered States can Enrich our Lives
Chapter 3: The Brain and Altered States of Consciousness
Ecstasies of Hysteria
Freud's Victorian Ladies Suffering from Hysteria
Hysteria and Dissociation
Fainting, Swooning, and Seizures
Atiques de Nervois and Other Ecstasies
The Remarkable, Impressionable Human Brain
Attachment and the Brain
The Brain's Plasticity
Sensitization, Kindling, and Addiction
Trauma and Altered States of Consciousness
The Third Eye and Altered States of Consciousness
The Brain and Ecstasy
Out of Body Experiences
Near-Death Experiences
Religion, Spirituality, and Ecstasy
Orgasm and Ecstasy
The Brain During Ecstasy
"I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
Chapter 4: The Sixties: "Something is Happening Here..."
The Legacy of the Sixties
"Life Should be Ecstasy"
Generations X and Y
The Culture of Narcissism
Like a Motherless Child
Neglected and Unprotected
Group Initiation Rites and Ecstasy
When Life Becomes Ecstasy
Chapter 5: Marketing and Producing Ecstasy
A Separate Reality
Pharmaceutical Paradise
Marketing Religious Ecstasy
Chapter 6: Cult-Induced Ecstasy and Psychosis
Extreme Altered States
"You Create Your Own Reality"
Est, Also Known as The Forum and Landmark Forum: "It Is What It Is"
Cults, Motivational Seminars, and the < Human Potential Movement
Snapping and Ecstasy
What Psychotherapists Treating Cult-Involved Patients Need to Know
Cults and the Consciousness Explosion
Ecstasies of Cosmic Consciousness
The Transcendental Meditation "Vision of Possibilities"
Soul Murder
She Saw Me Glowing, Just Like Freedom, Her Guru
Chapter 7: Ecstasies of Pain and Near-Death Experiences
Bob Flanagan: Super-Masochist
The Nature of Pain
Ritualistic Violence in Music and Dance
Playing with Death and Resurrection
To Humiliate and to be Humiliated
Playing with Death Through Starving, Purging, and Mutilating the Self
Initiation into the Tribe
Body Modifications
Needle Freaks, Piercing Junkies, and Tattoo Addicts
Our Cultural Obsession with Skin
The Tribe of Lambs Who Lay Down for the Slaughter
Bodily Self-Harm, Body Modifications, and Suicidality
Beware the Gurus and Shamans of Pain
Raellyn Gallina, Queen of Blood Sports
Fakir Musafar
Chapter 8: Religious Ecstasies
Sri Ramakrishna's Ecstasies
Sacred Erotica and Ecstatic Seizures
Ecstatic Stigmatics and Holy Anorexics
Born-Again Ecstasies
Speaking Tongues and Snake Handling Ecstasies
The Spiritual Ecstasies of Generations X and Y
The Oceanic Experience: Riding the Waves or Going Under?
Without the Darkness there is no Light
Crossing the Border
The Hunger for Spirituality
What is The Sacred?
Chapter 9: Killing, Cannibalism, and Other Ecstasies from Hell
An Ancient Taboo in Modern Times
"I Am a Cannibal"
Human Sacrifice and the Demon God
The Ecstasies of Hitler's Willing Executioners
The Ecstasies of the Suicide Bombers
Jailhouse Conversions
The Ecstasies of a Born-Again Killer
Chapter 10: Creative Ecstasies
The Nature of Creativity
Theories of Creativity
The Drive to Write
The Compulsion to Write and Endlessly Write
Mental Illness, Addiction, Epilepsy and Creativity
Creativity in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Our Best Creative Minds Speak Out About Their Own Mental Illness
Creative Writing of Scientific Prose
Chapter 11: Intervening with Those Hungry for Ecstasy
Resilience can Surprise You
Problems in Self-Care
The Crux of the Matter
Sex Produces Orgasms; Perversions Produce Ecstasy
Preventive Interventions
The Holistic Inquiry
Alcoholism, Compulsive Eating and Bipolar Disorder
Self-Mutilation: "Nothing to Get so Cut Up About"
Goth Culture
Huffing, Sniffing, Dusting, and Bagging
"Dear Abby, My Sister Plays the Choking Game and I'm Worried"
Summing Up
Chapter 12: Power of the Therapist's Affective Experience
An Integrated Approach to Treatment
Rising to the Challenge
Attunement and Attachment-Based Psychotherapy
The Therapist as Tuning Fork: Revisiting the Concepts of Neutrality, Abstinence, and Anonymity
The Dissociative Response as a Form of Communication
Projective Identifications and Enactments
Passion: A Peculiar Kind of Love
Intuition and Improvisation
Walking About: In Dream Time, Following a Trail of Breadcrumbs
The Ecstasy of Oneness and the Rage of Twoness
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
About the Author
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Review quote

Farber draws on her personal and professional experience, as well as her research, to explore the human desire for the ecstatic experience. She writes in a straightforward and engaging manner that would appeal to anyone who wishes to learn more about the cultural history, science, and psychology of the experience of ecstasy...Readers will come away with fascinating and thought-provoking perspectives of many different theorists, mental health practitioners, and individuals with their own stories of pain and a desire for an ecstatic experience, which will spark creativity in the therapist when working with individuals who are trying desperately to escape painful emotions. Hungry for Ecstasy is a must read for social workers who work with adults or adolescents who engage in self-mutilating, addictive, or other high-risk behavior, because it will spark the curiosity of the reader to further explore these concepts and to keep an open mind and be accepting when engaging with these individuals. Farber provides rich examples of therapeutic dialogue and practical examples of how to be more self-aware, attuned, empathic, and caring in order to provide a safe and accepting space for these individuals to open up about painful aspects of their lives. She offers engaging ways to plant seeds and open the door to a discussion on how individuals can learn to manage difficult emotions without engaging in self-harm. Lastly, Farber provides countless references, giving the reader an opportunity for further exploration of captivating ideas and concepts. The New Social Worker In this scholarly and unique book, Sharon Farber reminds us that the hunger for ecstasy is rooted in our nature and in unbearable and painful aspects of life. She explores the special and extraordinary depths and heights we adopt to enjoy, endure, escape, and defend against our nature and human psychological suffering. This book will appeal to a wide audience and students interested in the wide, unusual, and varied workings and experiences of the mind and human behavior. -- Edward J. Khantzian, M.D., Harvard Medical School Sharon Farber takes us on a remarkable tour of the history, science, sociology, and psychology of the much misunderstood experience of ecstasy. Integrating research with clinical vignettes, she utilizes her unique empathy to help us understand even the most extreme compulsions behind the search for ecstatic experience. -- Karen Hopenwasser, Weill Cornell Medical College Sharon Farber provides a remarkably engaging view of experiences that, for many people, stand among their lives' most defining moments. -- Kevin R. Nelson M.D., author of The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience A thoughtful, probing book on vital emotional processes. -- Michael Eigen, Author of "Ecstasy", "Rage", and "Lust"
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About Sharon Klayman Farber

Sharon Klayman Farber, PhD, is a board certified diplomate in clinical social work. She is the author of When the Body is the Target: Self-Harm, Pain, and Traumatic Attachments.
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