Special thanks to Katja Kircher (cover photo) and Ivan Katalinić (illustrations)

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. (2017) Living with a malignant disease – creative curriculum for parents, students and teachers.  MEP, MijelomCRO & Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb FF Press.

From the reviews:

“…A malignant disease is a source of tremendous stress for all family members, and in particular for the children, who happen to be very sensitive population. During the process of coping with a malignant disease, a lot of unresponded questions arise. This manual is for sure going to answer many of those questions.

This book is written in a coherent, clear and adept way, and it has been adapted for both young and adult readers. An abundance of knowledge and experience has been inwrought into this manuscript, which the author presents in the theoretical part of the book, in the guidelines for children and the elaborated workshops. This manual offers to both children and the young answers to various unspoken questions, a possibility of recognizing, understanding and processing difficult emotions, as well as dealing with a loss, in a way which they can understand….” – Anamarija Bogović, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, psychotherapist

„…This manuscript is approachable and systematic, and is of great assistance and self-help to parents, teachers and adolescents when faced with difficult moments in life. By using creative workshop tools, the author enables the readers of all age groups, and in particular young readers and their teachers, to activate and develop sincere feelings, which play a vital role in human health and behaviour at home, in class or at school. The author’s psychological approach, along with her indisputable educational-empiric quality represent the special value of this book. …Slobodanka Keleuva, MD, emergency medicine specialist

“…The special contribution of this manual is the fact that the author recognizes the importance of the social environment, that is the importance of the role that school plays in the development and emotional stability of grieving children. Because of knowing the aspects of developmental psychology, in her text the author offers useful interventions and guidelines for the education of parents and teachers and highlights that the previous paradigm on grieving and death must be changed in schools. By doing so, she makes it clear to the readers that: ″Learning about both of these components of life, very realistic ones, about its beginning and its end, is of equal importance for the emotional literacy of children and young people in schools.″ Therefore, I am sure that this text is going to be read attentively by parents as well as teachers, whereas children and young adults will be encouraged by the new cognitions from the author’s manuscript, despite the fears and sufferings that life and growing-up might bring….” – Mara Tripković, MD, Ph. D., psychiatrist, child & adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist

Special thanks to Nicolino Sapio’s cover photo idea

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. (2016). School phobia. Medicinska naklada & Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb FF Press

“…School phobia” is a novelty in Croatian psychology literature. This work is aimed at relieving the lives of parents and helping them find the best way how to approach their child and ease their pain, but it is also going to be of assistance to the experts who are dealing with school-phobic children in their everyday work….” Lovorka Brajković, Ph.D., clinical psychologist – psychotherapist

From the author’s preface

„…The book comprises four chapters. From a methodological and conceptual point of view they are designed so as to explicate phobias ranging from myths displays and historical source descriptions to contemporary aspects and suggestions for different treatments. As the nature of phobia and interventions on them are nowadays primarily interpreted within the framework of integrative models, the main subject is in this book processed two-sidedly: in psychoanalythic and behavioural way.

In the first chapter there are various classifications of phobia presented. The second chapter relies on complex differential school phobia diagnostics and explains the features, development and course of excessive fear of school. Specific family dynamics of a child suffering from school phobia is described in the third chapter, whereas the fourth chapter depicts actual interventions and ways of helping the child which are useful to teachers, parents and psychotherapists…“

„…By having written this work the author has shared her professional psychological and psychotherapeutical knowledge and experience based on her work with patients who had difficulties dealing with their anxieties. And it is this particular knowledge and experience that grant special value and prominence to this book. Therefore, the book “School phobia“ will be of great use to all therapists who work with children and adolescents, but also the adults who suffer from anxious or phobic states…“

Dalibor Zubac, MD, psychiatrist, child & adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist


Cover photo: Ken Heyman

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. (2015). Mother, woman and motherhood. Zagreb: Medicinska naklada & Faculty of Teacher Education Zagreb University

From the author’s preface: Mother occupies the central place in the gallery of characters in this book. She is the psychoanalysts’ favourite object of study, the first desired prototype that is imitated, almost angelic ideal figure pledged to harmony, tenderness, love and beauty. However, mother is also an illusion of an ideal, tragic, marginalized and underestimated figure of darkened brilliance associated with suffering, decay, sacrifice and masochism.

The book contains 10 chapters. The first and second chapter of this book talk about paleolithic and neolithic culture of matriarchy from the psychohistorical perspective, as well as the dethronement and masculinization of the so called Great Mother. The third chapter includes mythical and fairy-tale depictions of mothers with special emphasis on the relationship of Demeter and Persephone, as well as on some old Slavic legends about evil (step)mothers. The fourth chapter provides a review of the ancient patriarchal and narcissistic society that has contributed to social frustration of mothers and their sense of dysfunctionality, which gave an impetus to the strikingly increasing misogyny. The climax of misogyny and satanizing of biological motherhood of the Middle Ages is described in the fifth chapter. The sixth chapter gives a picture of the modest, subordinate and obedient Victorian mother of the western world, while the following chapter deals with Bowlby’s theory of attachment and maternal deprivation. The eighth chapter discusses the concept of Winnicott’s good enough mother, and the ninth chapter gives an overview of Melanie Klein’s object relations theory. At the end of the book, in the tenth chapter, motherhood is portrayed as a complex social category that stems from a variety of contemporary discourses of the 21st century.

The book discusses all phases of motherhood, from the woman’s wish / need to become a mother, through the stage of fantasizing about a child during pregnancy, the passing through biological and later psychological birth of the child, to the mother – child relationship observed through the so called transgenerational transmission of emotions. The book describes the early mother – child interaction and the quality of maternal care that is being embedded in the child’s development thus preparing it for its future parenthood. In other words, the quality of maternity and early dyadic relationship determines the mental stability of the person so the experience of care in the future is transmitted across generations. In this way, the book offers a variety of psychological and emotional dimensions of motherhood and childhood, which are clearly recognized as inseparable categories. The phenomenon of qualitative and good enough motherhood is associated with the foundations of man’s psychological health … ”

Cover photo: Kevin Tachman (Installation “Event horizon”, Antony Gormley)

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. (2013). Suicide: Phenomenology and Psychodynamics, Zagreb, Medicinska naklada.

From the review (Prof. Nataša Jokić Begić, Ph.D. – Faculty of Arts, Zagreb, Department of Psychology, Section of Health and Clinical Psychology):

“The university textbook “Suicide: Phenomenology and Psychodynamics” is an original work, because its authoress deals with her subject matter in a unique way, combining insights from various areas of science (from neurobiochemical, through psychological to broader historical, anthropological and sociological).

Such an interdisciplinary approach expands understanding of the phenomenon in question by putting it in a broader context, which will encourage students from different colleges to study it comprehensively. The proposed text presents various aspects of suicide and suicidal behaviour in a versatile, multifaceted and stimulating way.

Logically connected insights are described concerning various ways of dealing with suicidal disposition, epidemiology and etiology of suicide, psychiatric disorders including suicidal tendencies and their treatment, and psychodrama as a specific psychotherapeutic technique that offers its own ways of dealing with a depressive and suicidal person.

This book is indeed a unique contribution to our scientific literature. What distinguishes it from recently published textbooks on suicide is above all its anthropological and historical approach.

This part of the text contains a lot of intriguing information, a feature that is bound to arouse students’ interest in this fascinating theme. The authoress’s approach will also have a positive impact on interdisciplinary research in this area.”

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. (2007). Small Dictionary of Psychodrama Terms. Zagreb: Croatian Psychodrama Association

“Small Glossary of Psychodrama Terms” written by professor of psychology, Alexandra Mindoljevic Drakulic, is a unique contribution to the profession of psychology and psychotherapy in Croatia. This is the first time anyone has ever systematized the psychodrama terms. On the internet, there are only a few psychodrama glossaries in English available, which contain not more than about 30 basic terms.
This guide offers over a 150 new, modern and fully terminologically elaborated psychodrama concepts, with some additional terms related to other psychotherapy fields, such as psychoanalysis and group psychotherapy.
Therefore, it is recommended as complementary but also mandatory psychotherapy literature, as well as an additional tool for exploring the specific lexicography that psychodrama certainly offers.

In the making

Mindoljević Drakulić, A. Contemporary educational psychology – psychoanalytic approach. Zagreb: Medicinska naklada & Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences FF Press (forthcoming title)

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist.