Fayek Nakhla, M.D.

Honorary ORI faculty member; passed away on October 29, 2009

New York Times, November 8, 2009:

Dr. Fayek NAKHLA , born in Egypt, January 4, 1933, died October 29th. After medical school in Egypt, he pursued a psychiatric residency in Denver, Colorado, and worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then trained in psychoanalysis at the London Institute of Psychoanalysis. He came to New York City in 1968. In addition to his private practice, he was on the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and then became the director of psychiatric residency training at Brookdale University Hospital. He was a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association…

“Dr. Fayek Nakhla, a psychiatrist and member of the British Psychoanalytic Society, trained in London at the time Winnicott attained prominence. In his book Picking Up the Pieces (1993), co-authored with his patient, Dr. Nakhla gives a rare chronicling of an analysis that was strongly influenced by Winnicott’s work. The question, “How might an analyst make use of Winnicott’s ideas?” is given one possible answer in Dr. Nakhla’s book.” – Sheila Ronsen, Introduction to Winnicott Roundtable

Picking Up the Pieces: Two Accounts of a Psychoanalytic Journey

Jackson, Grace & Dr. Fayek Nakhla M.D.
Published by Yale University Press, 1993
ISBN 10: 0300056532 / ISBN 13: 9780300056532

Editorial Reviews:

Synopsis: When Grace Jackson began analytic therapy with Dr. Fayek Nakhla, she was struggling with the feeling that she did not exist. After many months of baffling silence in her therapy sessions, she displayed a psychotic regression characterized by violent behavior and self-mutilation. This engrossing and moving book is the story of the first few years of Grace’s controversial analytic treatment, told in separate chapters by analyst and patient. This is the first time that a detailed account of the treatment process has been presented from both points of view. Although Grace Jackson had a job and functioned relatively well in the outside world, the one activity that made her feel real – aside from cutting herself – was writing in a diary. Her narrative is interspersed with excerpts from this journal, giving us a privileged insight into her private world, into her suffering and terror. Dr. Nakhla’s account tells us of his misgivings as he attempted to understand Grace’s extreme mental pain and conflict and to devise an effective treatment. Dr. Nakhla’s approach, which eventually proved successful, was based on his understanding of the work of the British psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott, and it followed the dangerous course of permitting Grace to experience her regression fully – even its violent aspects – in order to achieve the rebirth of herself. Together the two narratives provide an intimate picture of mental illness and of the therapeutic relationship that can help the patient regain sanity.