Observing and formulating
T he communicative approach, and its particular means of observing and formulating the transactions of the therapeutic interaction, is the basis for the ideas presented in this volume ( Langs, 1982, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995). I will therefore briefly present the essentials of its methods as they pertain to the study of death and the anxieties it arouses.
The communicative approach is a significant departure from the standard model, which is based, in essence, on a weak adaptive position and is focused in the manifest contents of patients' material, their evident implications in terms of fantasies, wishes, and needs, and their personal genetic connections ( Langs, 1992, 1993). In contrast, the communicative approach is based on a strong adaptive and interpersonal viewpoint of the patient as a human being who copes on two levels -- one attached to awareness (i.e.