Psychoanalytic Participation

Action, Interaction, and Integration

By Kenneth A Frank

© 1999 – Routledge

312 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780881632736
pub: 1999-08-01
US Dollars$80.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

In Psychoanalytic Participation: Action, Interaction, and Integration, Kenneth Frank argues that the gulf between analysis and what he terms "action-oriented" or cognitive-behavioral techniques is anachronistic and has unnecessarily limited the repertoire of analytically oriented clinicians. In point of fact, action-oriented and even cognitive-behavioral techniques may be employed in ways that are consistent with the analytic goal of promoting profound personality change, and so may be profitably incorporated into analytic treatments.

Anchoring his discussion in a contemporary two-person model of psychoanalysis, Frank clarifies and extends the shift toward analyst participation that has developed within recent relational theorizing. On the basis of this orientation, which calls attention to the therapeutic importance of the real qualities of the analyst and of the analytic relationship, Frank sets forth a pragmatic analytic approach that balances traditional "process" elements with patients' problem-solving and outside progress in realizing life goals. By letting themselves be known by their patients and by participating intensively and actively in their treatment, analysts as analysts can help patients shape new and adaptive behaviors in their daily lives. It is the participatory possibilities growing out of a contemporary relational perspective that provide the ground for a rapprochement between psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavior therapy. To this end, Frank presents numerous examples of how action-oriented, cognitive-behavioral principles and techniques can be used to potentiate and accelerate the analytic process.

At once scholarly and exploratory, pragmatic and visionary, Psychoanalytic Participation helps shepherd psychoanalysis into the 21st century while making psychoanalytic wisdom - both traditional and contemporary - available to the broad community of psychotherapists appreciative of the usefulness of cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies.


"In this thoughtful and scholarly volume, Frank provides nuanced exploration of the various ways in which analysts' active participation in the therapeutic relationship can lead to important new experiences for their patients. Building on the shift in contemporary psychoanalytic theory toward two-person and relational perspectives, he develops a tightly reasoned, theoretically sophisticated framework that clarifies the manner in which therapist authenticity, self-disclosure, and the use of action-oriented interventions not only lead to change, but work in harmony with - rather than in opposition to - the analytic process. Psychoanalytic Participation is a timely, practical, and wise book that points the way to new dimensions in clinical practice. It deserves to be widely read by therapists of all orientations."

- Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, New School for Social Research

"Over the last decade, Kenneth Frank has made some of the most valuable and creative contributions to modernizing the theory of psychoanalytic practice. In Psychoanalytic Participation, he extends and integrates these contributions, and emerges with a vision of how the process works that retains the humane and insightful essence of the psychoanalytic approach while transcending the unexamined assumptions that have limited the contributions of many otherwise progressive theorists. Psychoanalytic readers, whatever their theoretical orientation, will find fresh insights into the untapped potential of modern analytic treatment, whereas nonanalytic readers will benefit from a vision of psychoanalysis that is refreshingly different from the caricatures of the past."

- Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D.

"From Freud's day to the present, psychoanalytic thought has been an enormously fecund source of ideas and inspiration for various sectors of Western culture, including the wide array of psychotherapies practiced today. Yet, for many decades analysts struggled hard to preserve clinical psychoanalysis as a rarefied domain, purer and deeper than other more interventionist therapies of the psyche. This isolating elitism has been an obstacle to generative thought. In Psychoanalytic Participation, Frank makes two major contributions to addressing this problem. First, he presents a theoretical rationale for, and clinical model of, a more participatory, expressive, and self-disclosing role for the psychoanalyst in the process. Second, with a commanding and incisive overview of the paradigm shift from classical to relational psychoanalysis, he demonstrates how the revision of fundamental analytic principles in contemporary psychoanalytic thought makes possible an enriching cross-fertilization with other therapies focused on action techniques. Frank's contribution is aimed at keeping all psychotherapies open and vital. It should be of great interest to clinicians of all persuasions."

- Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D., Founding Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Overview

2. The Meaning of a Two-Person Treatment Model

3 The Psychoanalyst's Participation of the New Role for Action and External Reality

4. The Analyst and the Role of Enactments

5. The Many Meanings of New Relational Experience

6. The Historical Trend Toward Self-Disclosure

7. The Analyst's Authenticity

8. A Two-Person Model for Therapist Self-Disclosure

9. Psychoanalysis and Facilitating Patients' Adaptive Action

10. Using Action-Oriented Techniques Analytically

11. Focused Integrative PsychotherapyAfterword

About the Series

Relational Perspectives Book Series

The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell (1983) to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.  

We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and he promoted new voices across the generations.  

Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General