Psychotherapy of Neurotic Character

By David Shapiro | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
TO THE PAPERBACK
EDITION

Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy are changing and the general direction of that change seems clear. Interest in the reconstruction of personal history has lost its secure and central place. "Insight" in its traditional sense of understanding the present as a recapitulation of the past is no longer relied on as the exclusive therapeutic agent.Therapists recognize increasingly that the most important—some would say the only important—subject matter of therapy is the immediate experience of the patient in the therapeutic session itself, in the "here and now." Together with this recognition, there is an increasing appreciation of the significance of the therapeutic relationship, not just a one-sided fantasied relationship projected onto a therapist presumed to be a neutral figure, but the actual relationship between two living figures.These two therapeutic interests, in the "here and now" and in the therapeutic relationship, are obviously close; the relationship between therapist and patient is, after all, an intrinsic part of the "here and now" experience.Together these interests reflect the general aim of making therapy more affecting, and therefore more effective.

But it is one thing to recognize the importance of immediacy and of the therapeutic relationship and quite another to achieve the one and to understand the exact significance of the other. These are the aims, at any rate, of this book. Basically,

-ix-

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