Learning from Our Mistakes: Beyond Dogma in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Overview

This book focuses on the issue of mistakes in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy--the inevitability of making them, as far as possible how to avoid them, and what therapists can do to transform potential disasters into a means for growth in themselves as well as the patient. Further developing the creative therapeutic approach first elaborated in his classic Learning from the Patient, distinguished clinician and author Patrick Casement makes a compelling case for being open-minded rather than dogmatic in ...
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Overview

This book focuses on the issue of mistakes in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy--the inevitability of making them, as far as possible how to avoid them, and what therapists can do to transform potential disasters into a means for growth in themselves as well as the patient. Further developing the creative therapeutic approach first elaborated in his classic Learning from the Patient, distinguished clinician and author Patrick Casement makes a compelling case for being open-minded rather than dogmatic in clinical practice. He shows how analysts can become blind to their own mistakes, and even more significantly, can fail to recognize when their efforts to guide or control the therapeutic process have become a problem for the patient. A wealth of evocative case material is used to illustrate how the process of internal supervision can facilitate heightened awareness of the patient's experience within the clinical encounter. Written with rare candor, this book challenges many traditional assumptions even as it affirms the healing power of psychodynamic work. It will be read with pleasure by practicing therapists as well as students and trainees.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Patrick Casement's new book is a unique and rare gem. Bringing the clinical encounter alive as only he can do, Casement illustrates convincingly, and with great wisdom, a creative and flexible approach to patients, to the treatment process, and to the analyst's inevitable errors, that is invaluable to clinical work. A master class taught by a master clinician. Learning from Our Mistakes is a book that must be read by every practicing therapist."--Theodore J. Jacobs, MD

"Patrick Casement, whose previous writings are now available in twenty languages, has with this book done another good deed for his fellow professionals....[Casement reminds] us of the complex realities of the clinical challenge and the demanding ethical commitments that underlie our therapeutic work."--from the Foreword by Nancy McWilliams, PhD

"In this latest book, Patrick Casement bravely tells us how his mistakes, along with his concern, propel his engagement with his patients. The book should serve as a wonderful opportunity for students to share their own errors with colleagues and teachers in the atmosphere of freedom offered by a seasoned therapist."--Arnold Goldberg, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Rush Medical College

"One of those rare works in our field that constitutes an unquestionable 'must read.' Imagine a book that treats with equal assuredness and for all levels of experience questions of how to get into the process; how to think about, avoid, and manage treatment errors; how to talk to one's colleagues about what happens with a patient; how to supervise another's work; and how to understand contemporary issues such as provision, re-enactment, touch, and impingement. For sheer wit and wisdom, this contribution by a master clinician and theoretician cannot be surpassed. Patrick Casement has outdone himself."--Estelle Shane, PhD, Los Angeles, California

Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis

"This is a remarkable, wise, affirming book....This unusual, wise book leaves us with a sense of gratitude and affirmation. Casement puts into words much that we feel and struggle with. While critical of dogma and rules, he affirms the great potential of our profession."--Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"The author's many illustrative clinical vignettes make it a useful teaching text. I highly recommend this book as a banquet of analytic food for thought, even to those who may profoundly disagree with his approach."--Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
Psychoanalytic Social Work

"...I recommend this book for experienced and new clinicians alike. Everyone will take away something valuable from it. Reading the book is like the experience of sitting down with a master therapist who treats the reader with the same level of respect he has for his patients."--Psychoanalytic Social Work
From The Critics
Drawing from his own experience as a practicing psychoanalyst and therapist and from the testimony of colleagues rather than theory, Casement teases out some of the ways in which failed therapy can be due to mistakes by the therapist rather than to the patient's pathology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572308176
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/15/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author


Patrick Casement, who trained with the British Association of Psychotherapists, has been a psychoanalyst and therapist in full-time private practice for many years. He is also a training and supervising analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. His previous books, On Learning from the Patient and Further Learning from the Patient, are available in one volume from Guilford as Learning from the Patient.
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Table of Contents


Foreword, Nancy McWilliams
Introduction
1. Getting There: The Unfolding Potential of Psychoanalysis
2. Mistakes in Psychoanalysis, and Trying to Avoid Them
3. The Experience of a Session: Trying to Communicate It
4. Towards Autonomy: Some Thoughts on Psychoanalytic Supervision
5. Some Hazards in Being Helpful in Psychotherapy
6. Re-enactment and Resolution
7. To Hold or Not to Hold a Patient's Hand: Further Reflections
8. Impingement and Space: Issues of Technique
9. The Unknown Beyond the Known
Epilogue: Getting Where?
Appendix: Some Pressures on the Analyst for Physical Contact during the
Reliving of an Early Trauma
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