Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Basic Text

Article excerpt

Psychotherapy Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Basic Text Glen O Gabbard. Arlington (VA): American Psychiatric Press; 2004. 21Op. US$33.95.

Reviewer Rating: Excellent

It is a pleasure to review this book. This compact text is the first in the series Core Competencies in Psychotherapy, of which Dr Gabbard is also series editor. The book is intended specifically as an introductory text, and as such it excels. From an educator's perspective, this is a most noteworthy achievement, as texts well suited to the needs of novices beginning their psychodynamic training are hard to come by.

This text is characterized by a balanced, flexible, modern approach informed by wisdom and depth of knowledge on the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy. It is these overall qualities, so difficult to impart in a book this short, that set it apart. This is important, in that early readings recommended to trainees represent an opportunity to influence their developing attitudes.

The book addresses a range of topics relevant to its stated purpose. I particularly appreciated certain sections, including those entitled "The Nuts and Bolts of Psychotherapy: Getting Started," "Therapeutic Interventions: What Does the Therapist Say and Do?," "Goals and Therapeutic Action," and "Working Through and Termination." These chapters deal explicitly with specific issues of concern and interest to aspiring psychodynamic therapists. They are handled in a straightforward way that avoids imprecise use of theoretical jargon. The balanced perspective noted above is apparent in the approach taken to this material.

A strength of the book is the use of well-selected, illustrative clinical examples throughout. Many of these speak directly to situations faced by trainees and therefore should be meaningful to the intended audience. …