Book Reviews -- Impasse and Innovation in Psychoanalysis: Clinical Case Seminars Edited by John E. Gedo and Mark J. Gehrie

Article excerpt

JOHN E. GEDO AND MARK J. GEHRIE, EDs.: Impasse and Innovation in Psychoanalysis: Clinical Case Seminars. The Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ, 1993, 328 pp $39.95.

Impasse and Innovation in Psychoanalysis describes a series of continuous case seminars. It differs from others of its genre in that much of the dialogue in the book is transcribed from audio recordings of the sessions. This provides not only a lively affective quality often missing from such reports but also a much greater access to the ways that psychoanalysts think while practicing their craft.

Gehrie summarizes and discusses each case after the series of presentations has ended. Gedo comments both on the case presentations and on Gehrie's discussion. Consistent with the goal of the seminars to address technical difficulties in psychoanalysis, the cases, presented by recently graduated analysts, are of the "difficult patient" variety. Questions about analyzability, about the differences between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, and about what truly constitutes psychoanalysis inevitably follow.

The last word is usually Gedo's and while some may be deterred by his imperious tone, his words have a compelling quality. He adheres to the view of development espoused in Models of the Mind, the book he authored with Arnold Goldberg (University of Chicago Press, 1973). Gedo considers that psychoanalysis should be defined in terms of its goals rather than its technical procedures. He views all interventions that are appropriate to the analysand's current level of development as psychoanalytic. In fact, Gedo would concur with self psychology when interventions are aimed at a correct level of development. He rejects the notion that the analyst's good deeds in promoting the formation of new introjects are helpful, unless that leads to new learning and the linking of words to affectively charged human interactions. …