Psychoanalytic Method in Motion : Controversies and evolution in clinical theory and practice book cover
1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Method in Motion
Controversies and evolution in clinical theory and practice

ISBN 9781138098565
Published November 7, 2017 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Psychoanalytic Method in Motion identifies and examines varied controversies about how psychoanalysts believe treatment should best be conducted. Irrespective of their particular school of thought, every analyst builds up a repertoire of his favored ways of working, which some analysts come to see as the most efficacious approach to treatment available. While such differences of opinion are unsettling, and may even threaten to tear the field asunder, this book sees these differences as benefitting psychoanalysis by improving the ways in which psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists practice.  

In this book, Richard Tuch covers the waterfront by examining controversies that further the field by raising questions that help evolve the treatment, challenging every analyst to re-think what they are doing in the consulting room…and why. Some of the chief controversies explored include:

  • the enactment debate—unparalleled tool or regrettable error?
  • whether analysts can truly be "objective"—whatever that means
  • the advantages and disadvantages arising from the analyst’s use of authority
  • the ways in which theory influences the analyst’s search for data—blinding him to evidence he implicitly discards as irrelevant  
  • whether any given treatment approach is more efficacious than others, as some analysts claim
  • the legitimacy of psychoanalysis itself—whether it can truly be considered scientific
  • whether certain methods of supervision are more effective than others
  • whether free association can be considered therapeutic in and of itself
  • the extent to which an analyst preferred clinical theory is a product of his personality

Drawing on ideas from a range of different analytic perspectives, this book is an essential and accessibly written guide to working towards best practice in the analytic setting. Psychoanalytic Method in Motion will appeal greatly to both students and practitioners of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION; Chapter 1 DARING TO LET GO: The Therapeutic Benefits of Free Association Chapter 2 THE ANALYST’S ACTIVITY AND HIS SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE Theory-Determined Salience and Selective Perception; Chapter 3 THE ANALYST’S WAY OF BEING: Method as a Function of Personality; Chapter 4 QUESTIONING THE ANAYST’S USE OF AUTHORITY For Better and For Worse  TREATING CERTAIN SORTS OF PATIENTS  Chapter 5 THINKING WITH, AND ABOUT, PATIENTS TOO SCARED TO THINK Can Non-Interpretive Maneuvers Stimulate Reflective Thought? Chapter 6 THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: A Metacognitive Approach to the Treatment of Concrete Thinkers PSYCHOANALYTIC SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT Chapter 7 THE INTERPERSONALIST’S HANDLING OF ENACTMENTS The Effect of Comparative Theories on Technique Chapter 8 BEYOND EMPATHY A Wrinkle in Self Psychology Theory Chapter 9 LEARNING FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL THEORISTS: Technique from a Middle School Perspective PSYCHOANALYSIS IN THE 21ST Century Chapter 10 LEARNING HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ANALYST Teaching Technique to Psychotherapy Students Chapter 11 THE EFFECT OF STYLE ON THE QUALITY OF SUPERVISION  Should the details of treatment be left to the treating clinician? Chapter 12 WHAT IS SCIENTIFIC ABOUT PSYCHOANALYSIS? Truth Comes in Many Colors

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Richard Tuch is Training and Supervising Analyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Center of California. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. He has written and co-written books and chapters, and his papers appear in all three major psychoanalytic journals. He received the Karl A. Menninger Memorial Award for Psychoanalytic Writing, the Edith Sabshin Award for Teaching, and the Leo Rangell Essay Contest.


"Rethinking fundamental assumptions in the light of his clinical experience, Richard Tuch offers readers a thoughtful and intelligent appraisal of some of the most urgent issues in contemporary psychoanalytic practice. His writing avoids authoritarian pronouncements and partisan advocacy and focuses instead upon the generative tensions and productive changes that can arise from exploring conflicts and divergent views that exist among the various theories that populate the current analytic landscape. The result is a thought-provoking encounter with many of the vital challenges and controversies that preoccupy our field."-Howard B. Levine, MD, Co-Editor, Unrepresented States and the Construction of Meaning and Bion in Brazil: Supervisions and Commentaries.

"Tuch, a distinguished psychoanalyst, talented writer and gifted teacher, approaches psychoanalysis in the way that a good psychoanalyst approaches a patient, respectful of pre-existing ideas but encouraging an open-minded acceptance to alternative perspectives. Tuch’s view is that theories should operate at the back of the therapist’s mind, never distracting from the immediate clinical experience, but helping to define what that experience is. He recognizes the importance of the analyst’s personality and style as well as his theoretical orientation. For Tuch there are many possible perspectives on the analytic encounter, just as there are many possible perspectives on life experience. In this comprehensive book, he offers an analyst’s understanding of analysis, paralleling the analyst’s understanding of human experience."-Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University; Former Joint Editor-in-Chief, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

"In this landmark contribution, Richard Tuch surveys the broad landscape of psychoanalytic technique  He considers what the analyst does and why they do it. He discusses all of the important controversies that have developed over the decades since Freud. His range is wide and his analysis is deep. It deserves a place in the library of every psychoanalyst."-Arnold Richards, M.D.