Sandra Buechler joins hosts Christopher Bandini and Tracy Morgan to discuss her latest book, Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living: Addressing Life's Challenges in Clinical Practice (Routledge, 2019), which continues her long standing exploration of the role of values in the work of psychoanalysis. The book discusses the many common difficulties that drive patients into treatment, such as loss, a hunger for meaningful work, the wish for revenge, aging, queries over forgiveness, struggles with guilt and shame. Buechler shows us how the analyst’s values inevitably shape their approach to these common topics, tilting treatments in myriad directions. As is her wont, she engages with poetry to deepen her explanations. She tells us that each of her books is generated by questions left unanswered in the previous one. And in each book, including this one, we see her in conversation with her forebears, particularly Sullivan, Fromm and Fromm-Reichman—what she calls her internal chorus.
What makes this interview especially rich is the discussion between Bandini, her former supervisee of 14 years and herself. She is a member of his internal chorus. Their tone with each other has a familiarity and warmth. But they have both had to face the loss of that particular way of relating, supervisor to supervisee. Buechler most recently retired from clinical work, making her a maverick in a profession where “dying in one’s chair” is not exactly a joke.