Clinical Values: Emotions That Guide Psychoanalytic Treatment, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Clinical Values

Emotions That Guide Psychoanalytic Treatment, 1st Edition

By Sandra Buechler


206 pages

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In this refreshingly honest and open book, Sandra Buechler looks at therapeutic process issues from the standpoint of the human qualities and human resourcefulness that the therapist brings to each clinical encounter. Her concern is with the clinical values that shape the psychoanalytically oriented treatment experience. How, she asks, can one person evoke a range of values--curiosity, hope, kindness, courage, sense of purpose, emotional balance, the ability to bear loss, and integrity--in another person and thereby promote psychological change? For Buechler, these core values, and the emotions that infuse them, are at the heart of the clinical process. They permeate the texture and tone, and shape the content of what therapists say. They provide the framework for formulating and working toward treatment goals and keep the therapist emotionally alive in the face of the often draining vicissitudes of the treatment process.

Clinical Values: Emotions That Guide Psychoanalytic Treatment is addressed to therapists young and old. By focusing successively on different emotion-laden values, Buechler shows how one value or another can center the therapist within the session. Taken together, these values function as a clinical compass that provides the therapist with a sense of direction and militates against the all too frequent sense of "flying by the seat of one's pants." Buechler makes clear that the values that guide treatment derive from the full range of the clinician's human experiences, and she is candid in relating the personal experiences--from inside and outside the consulting room--that inform her own matrix of clinical values and her own clinical approach. A compelling record of one gifted therapist's pathway to clinical maturity, Clinical Values has a more general import: It exemplifies the variegated ways in which productive clinical work of any type ultimately revolves around the therapist's ability to make the most of being "all too human."


“This inspiring book refreshes and reminds us why we want to practice psychoanalysis as well as we can. It is an antidote to professional burnout and discouragement. Clinical Values is a book for every clinician to read, especially when feeling frustrated by difficult patients. Buechler’s thoughtful counsel is ecumenical, relevant to analysts of every persuasion. Get this book and keep it close by.”

- Stanley Coen, M.D., Author, The Misuse of Persons (Analytic Press, 1992)

“Buechler’s topics – among them courage, kindness, integrity, the need to bear loss – work their way through every clinical encounter but are rarely theorized. I recommend this wise, compassionate, and refreshingly optimistic book to students and practitioners alike, to anybody who is interested in learning more about the unspoken essentials of the therapy process.”

- Jay Greenberg, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute

"A subtle, thoughtful, and highly nuanced book that enriches and extends contemporary Interpersonal Theory. Buechler's uniquely poetic sensibility has carried her well beyond the usual considerations of theory and process. For all her meticulous and scholarly presentation, she sees psychoanalysis as less about social engineering or even psychic repair than about poesis, the creation of meaning, and ultimately about passion-for both the work and the patient's emergence. Her book is an original contribution and well worth reading by both practitioners and students of psychoanalysis."

- Edgar A. Levenson, M.D., Author, The Purloined Self

Table of Contents

Introduction: Manifesting Clinical Ideals. Evoking Curiosity. Inspiring Hope. Kindness in Treatment. Promoting Courage. Manifesting a Sense of Purpose. Creating Emotional Balance. Bearing Loss. Developing Integrity. Emotional Uses of Theory.

About the Series

Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series

When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.

The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.

But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health