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


The 2nd Edition of Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, the highly successful practice-oriented handbook designed to demystify psychoanalytic psychotherapy, is updated and revised to reflect the latest developments in the field.
  • Updated edition of an extremely successful textbook in its field, featuring numerous updates to reflect the latest research and evidence base
  • Demystifies the processes underpinning psychoanalytic psychotherapy, particularly the development of the analytic attitude guided by principles of clinical technique
  • Provides step-by-step guidance in key areas such as how to conduct assessments, how to formulate cases in psychodynamic terms and how to approach endings
  • The author is a leader in the field - she is General Editor of the New Library of Psychoanalysis book series and a former editor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy


For the past 25 years I have been on an analytic journey. During this time I have travelled through Freudian and Kleinian personal analyses with a few supervisory stopovers in the middle ground of the Independents. My analytic journey has been, and continues to be, enriching. Each experience has taught me many things of value and it has raised many questions, some uncomfortable, not only about myself but also about psychoanalysis as a method of therapy, as an institution and as a profession.

I know that my choices of analyst and of supervisors when I was training in theory makes me a Kleinian, except that in practice I never chose any of them because they were Kleinians, but because they were compassionate towards their patients, because I liked them, because they had a good sense of humour and because they were inspiring to me for my own idiosyncratic reasons.

As you read this book you will notice that I draw on a wide range of ideas that reflect different traditions within psychoanalysis, and it will not be entirely obvious which analytic group I align myself with. This is because, in fact, I don’t align myself with any one group. Groups can all too readily operate in selfcontained ways, perpetuating unhelpful assumptions and myths that militate against critical reflection on the tools of our trade. Our need to take sides, to split, to be the favoured child are revived and relived in our organisational lives. When we align to one group and not another, we are not solely driven by theoretical differences or scientific findings; we are also living out, for example, the phantasy that we have successfully relegated our rival to a less privileged group. Ideally, of course, the point of any kind of social organisation should be to encourage the widest possible human diversity.

If there is an “US” there is a “THEM”, and the world of psychological therapies generally, not just psychoanalysis, is no different from any other social grouping: we all have vested interests in promoting our worldview and the therapeutic approach that matches it. I do too. in fact, just in case you are wondering, I think it is essential for our sanity that we have our own subjective viewpoint from which to relate to others, that is, a confident belief in our . . .

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