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From The CriticsReviewer: Breitung U. Jasmin, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book describes the essential concepts of psychodynamic psychotherapy in a manner that is easily understandable by a broad audience. The basic tenets are supported by evidence-based research whenever possible and are further illustrated by useful clinical vignettes.
Purpose: "The purpose, according to the author, is to help train health professionals to competency in the field of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, one of the five psychotherapies now mandated by the Psychiatric Residency Review Committee. This is done by providing an overview of theoretical principles and models and how to implement therapeutic interventions. These objectives are largely met and the book fulfills a need. "
Audience: According to the author, the book was written not only for training psychiatry residents, but for a broad audience of health professionals as well, such as psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and even training directors. This book is definitely of use for all of the above. The author is quite accomplished in the fields of psychodynamic psychotherapy, having many years of clinical and research experience in the field.
Features: "This book covers essential concepts in psychodynamic psychotherapy, such as transference, countertransference, dreams and fantasies, therapeutic interventions, boundary crossing, the use of supervision, to name just a few. The author presents these in an organized manner supporting his material whenever possible with the available research. Each topic is given more or less equal weight, resulting in a broad overview, rather than specific detailed discussions of any one subject. To illustrate the contents further there are some tables and figures that summarize the material and provide new information not always provided in the text. Of highest value to the reader are the clinical vignettes that are dispersed throughout the book. The vignettes are excellent examples of theoretical models and concepts as well as therapeutic interventions. Shortcomings include the fact that a discussion on the use of pharmacotherapies in conjunction with psychotherapy is omitted, as well as financial considerations inherent in long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. Considering that this book is an overview, the author might have discussed this as well. He appropriately limits himself to one-on-one adult therapy, as discussions of couple, family or group therapy would have been beyond the scope of this book. "
Assessment: "This is an excellent brief overview of basic concepts in psychodynamic psychotherapy and is thereby highly useful to the beginning clinician during training. It accomplishes the goal of providing adequate information to the clinician in this field. It is not as useful to the clinician who is more experienced, since it is a basic text and covers each area briefly and not in great detail.