Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Synopsis

A clear and thorough introduction to techniques and practice issues, as well as basic theoretical frameworks, for beginners. Psychoanalysis is not so much skill-based, as dependent upon the development of the analytic attitude, guided by principles of technique that are used in the clinical situation. Alessandra Lemma's accessible guide has been based on her long experience of teaching trainee practitioners. It includes discussion of interventions and the possible dynamics associated with the different stages of therapy: assessment, beginnings, middle and end phases of therapy. It exposes the rationale underlying a range of interventions and discusses research evidence where relevant and available. Written by a well known author with plenty of practical experience Introductory and aimed at trainees Uniquely, it combines practical advice with theoretical explanation

Excerpt

This book has been largely inspired by teaching psychoanalysis to trainee clinical psychologists and other clinicians from different mental health backgrounds, who were often approaching psychoanalysis with little knowledge or experience of it. Even so, many were primed to be critical of it on the basis of prior learning or exposure to psychoanalytic interventions that had been experienced as unhelpful. I approach the subject matter in this book largely with this audience in mind, remembering some of the questions my students have put to me over the years and the criticisms they have voiced. The book is intended primarily as a practical, clinical text for workers in the mental health field who are relative newcomers to the practice of psychoanalytic therapy. It does nevertheless assume a core background in one of the mental health professions, clinical experience with patients and a degree of familiarity with the practice of psychotherapy and/or counselling more generally.

Teaching psychoanalysis has helped remind me that when we are trained psychoanalytically it is all too easy to forget that our practice is based on so much that is taken for granted, and on the idiosyncrasies of our own personal analytic experiences with training therapists and supervisors, that it is unsurprising when the newcomer to it finds the ideas confusing and the theories difficult to translate into practice. Teaching is indeed a salutary experience—unless we teach the converted—since it forces us to revisit cherished assumptions. It has taught me to beware the dangers of overvalued ideas, though I am sure that while reading this book you will come across several ideas with which I am all too reluctant to part company.

A word of caution is called for before embarking on this book—I am a synthesiser. In this book, I have traded specificity for generalities and subtle differences in theoretical concepts for common strands between the many psychoanalytic theories that are available. It will thus probably . . .

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