Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide

Synopsis

Building on the enormous popularity of her two previous texts on diagnosis and case formulation, this important work from Nancy McWilliams completes the trilogy by addressing in detail the art and science of psychodynamic treatment. McWilliams distills the essential principles of clinical practice, including effective listening and talking; transference and countertransference; emotional safety; and an empathic, attuned attitude toward the patient. The author describes the values, assumptions, and clinical and research findings that guide the psychoanalytic enterprise, and shows how to integrate elements of other theoretical perspectives when necessary. She also discusses the phases of treatment and covers such neglected topics as educating the client about the therapeutic process, handling complex challenges to boundaries, and attending to self-care. Presenting complex clinical information in personal, nontechnical language enriched by in-depth clinical vignettes, this is an essential psychoanalytic work and training text for therapists.

Excerpt

Psychology may be a science but psychotherapy is an art. Over the past century, having started as an effort to cure the baffling symptoms of patients with severe hysterical problems, psychodynamic therapies have been refined and expanded in attempts to reduce the suffering of an increasingly broad and diverse range of people. The impetus for this book is my sense that despite an abundance of good writing on the psychotherapy process, we lack an integrative work on psychotherapy that introduces students of the art to its essential features— across populations, across pathologies, across the sometimes radically differing paradigms currently in vogue in the psychoanalytic community, across the variations in human misery that express the idiosyncracies of particular families in particular places in a particular age. That such a book is a product of its own era and culture is inevitable. I am hoping that nonetheless it will be more embracing and less narrow than most previous primers on analytic therapy. As with my previous texts, with this book I am trying to be helpful mostly to people in training, whether in psychology, counseling, psychiatry, general medical practice, social work, nursing, or faith-based practice.

In addition to trying to address the training needs of beginning therapists, I am hoping to start a conversation about therapy that traverses theoretical orientations and professional disciplines. Perhaps by discussing central aspects of psychodynamic practice across diverse patient populations, I can effectively represent the psychoanalytic tradition to colleagues who are put off by arcane terminology and the trappings of a historically much too smug fraternity. My personal experience attests to what some researchers have dubbed the “dodo bird” phenomenon (Luborsky, Diguer, Luborsky, Singer, & Dickter, 1993), the observation that the common features of effective therapies oper-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.