Psychodynamic Techniques : Working with Emotion in the Therapeutic Relationship book cover
1st Edition

Psychodynamic Techniques
Working with Emotion in the Therapeutic Relationship

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ISBN 9781462509591
Published December 12, 2012 by Guilford Press
274 Pages

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Book Description

Helping therapists navigate the complexities of emotional interactions with clients, this book provides practical clinical guidelines. Master clinician Karen J. Maroda adds an important dimension to the psychodynamic literature by exploring the role of both clients' and therapists' emotional experiences in the process of therapy. The book discusses how to become more attuned to one's own experience of a client; offer direct feedback and self-disclosure in the service of treatment goals; and manage intense feelings and conflict in the relationship. Specific techniques are illustrated with vivid case examples. Maroda clearly distinguishes between therapeutic and nontherapeutic ways to work with emotion in this candid and instructive guide.

Table of Contents

1. Emotional Engagement and Mutual Influence: Basic Issues as Therapy Begins
2. Mutuality and Collaboration: Influencing Each Other
3. Redefining Regression: Facilitating Therapeutic Vulnerability
4. Evaluating Interventions: Tracking the Client's Response
5. Self-Disclosure and Advice: Understanding How and When the Therapist's Disclosures Are Therapeutic
6. Managing Emotion: Affective Communication and the Role of Interaction
7. The Special Problem of Affect Management in Treating Borderline Personality Disorders
8. Confrontation and Countertransference Anger: Overcoming the Therapist's Aversion to Conflict
9. Erotic Feelings: How They Help or Hinder the Therapeutic Process
10. Empowering the Client: The Road to Independence

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Karen J. Maroda, PhD, ABPP, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is in private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the past ethics chair and a board member of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association and past president of Division 39's Section III, Women, Gender, and Psychoanalysis. The author of two previous books, The Power of Countertransference and Seduction, Surrender, and Transformation, Dr. Maroda has also published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. She lectures nationally and internationally on a variety of aspects of the therapeutic process, including the place of affect, self-disclosure, countertransference, legitimate authority, and the need for clinical guidelines. Dr. Maroda is on the editorial board of two major journals, Psychoanalytic Psychology and the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, and is corresponding editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis; she actively encourages her colleagues to write and talk about what they actually do as therapists.


Maroda clearly describes how the psychotherapist's emotional responses to the patient's communications are essential to the change processes that lie at the core of the therapeutic relationship. Her clinical model for working more deeply in the affective realm is solidly grounded in interpersonal neurobiology. This extraordinary book is filled with practical information and rich case vignettes. I highly recommend it.--Allan N. Schore, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Maroda's proven skill at highly instructive use of courageous self-disclosure is superbly displayed in this revealing work on that rarest of topics: specific elucidation of technique in dynamic therapy. Full of practical advice and illuminating case material, this book is a godsend for therapists.--Thomas G. Gutheil, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

Maroda brings such a wealth of seasoned clinical experience and wisdom to this book that it inevitably will be an invaluable resource. She offers a treatment-oriented presentation that is sophisticated yet lucid and pragmatic.--Edgar A. Levenson, MD, William Alanson White Institute, New York City

Though intended primarily for inexperienced clinicians, this book has much to offer therapists at every level of practice. It is in equal turns scholarly and eminently practical, and imparts the clinical wisdom of a senior therapist who is willing to discuss the intricacies of clinical process with emotional and professional candor. The multidimensional clinical illustrations are evocative and elegantly crafted. Highly recommended.--Jerrold R. Brandell, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Wayne State University School of Social Work; Editor-in-Chief, Psychoanalytic Social Work

With this engaging, readable book, Maroda answers a long-standing need for a primer on psychodynamic technique. In her characteristic melding of professional and personal experience, theoretical sophistication, research findings, and plain-spoken common sense, Maroda serves up a banquet of good advice that will nourish not only students and beginning therapists, but also experienced practitioners. She keeps the focus on the practical and generously illustrates her points with clinical vignettes that exemplify the emotional honesty she so consistently recommends. I look forward to assigning this welcome text to my graduate students in clinical psychology.--Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
This is an outstanding contribution by a master clinician. Maroda takes the reader on an intimate tour of becoming a good psychotherapist. Her generous use of case examples allows the reader to enter into her consulting room, and illustrates the nuances of various dynamic methods. This book should be mandatory reading for graduate students facing the trepidation and uncertainty of immersing themselves in clinical practice.--Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP, private practice, Ajax, Ontario, Canada