Doing Psychotherapy

Doing Psychotherapy

Doing Psychotherapy

Doing Psychotherapy

Synopsis

Here is a practical guide to doing psychotherapy which, unlike most other manuals that present an idealized view of the therapist-patient relationship, shows what the therapeutic encounter is really like. Using detailed excerpts from clinical protocals, Basch draws the reader into the therapeutic dialogue as a way of experiencing what actually happens in the course of treatment with cases of varying complexity. Notes and Index.

Excerpt

Students of psychiatry, psychology, and social work often wonder, Does talking really help? In this book I answer that question in the affirmative by clarifying how and why psychotherapy works. My goal is to provide newcomers to the field, irrespective of their background, with a practical guide to individual, insight-oriented therapy. Many textbooks of general psychiatry teach the art of conducting a mental status examination, establishing a differential diagnosis, and managing the acutely disturbed and/or hospitalized patient. This book focuses on the treatment of a different group of emotionally troubled individuals.

My concern is with people whose problems are not clarified by an exploration of symptoms and overt behavior in keeping with the Kraepelinian method of psychiatric evaluation, and who generally do not respond to treatment based on a biologically oriented medical model. These patients function satisfactorily, perhaps even successfully, when judged by superficial standards, but their personal relationships are usually troubled, unsatisfying, and frequently destructive. Despite the fact that they often show significant potential, their creativity, their originality, and their capacity for meaningful achievement are frustrated by their pathology. At the root of their difficulties are long-standing patterns of perception and behavior which interfere with the successful conduct and enjoyment of their lives. Often severely anxious and depressed, these distressed and unhappy people require treatment in depth to resolve their difficulties. I have found that an active, goal-oriented, dynamic approach based on an understanding of the transference relationship between patient and therapist has an excellent chance of succeeding in these cases and can be taught readily to students.

Far from wanting to found one more school of psychotherapy and set it up in opposition to others, I wish to transcend factionalism and describe an approach that, though based on psychoanalytic principles, is not rigidly bound by any one method or philosophy of treatment.

Frequently psychotherapy is taught in the context of a theoretical framework . . .

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