Brief Psychoanalytic Therapy

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Oxford University Press, 2016 - Brief psychotherapy - 176 pages
In recent years, there has been a drive to develop briefer and more focal psychodynamic interventions, with the hope of satisfying the ever-increasing need for mental health support.

This book outlines the principles and practice of Brief Psychoanalytic Therapy. It starts with an introductory chapter that distils those aspects of psychoanalysis that provide a basis for the approach. This is followed by an overview of themes and variations in six forms of brief psychodynamic therapy.

The remainder of the book is focused on clinical practice. Treatment and Adherence Manuals detail the specifics of therapist orientation and technique, and a formal research study that compares the approach with Interpersonal Therapy is described. Case histories of individual treatments unfolding over time are complemented by detailed examination of short sequences of patient-therapist dialogue from transcribed sessions. The result is a picture of a psychoanalytic treatment that, while brief, is disciplined and coherent in its concentrated focus on analyzing the transference and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship.

Accessibly written, and grounded in clinical practice, the book is a practical guide for psychotherapists and other professionals in the field of mental health.


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1 The psychoanalytic background
2 Themes and variations in brief psychodynamic psychotherapy
3 A first case history
4 A second case history
5 The Treatment Manual
6 Therapeutic dialogues I
7 The Adherence Manual
8 Therapeutic dialogues II
9 Is Brief Psychoanalytic Therapy distinctive? A research study
10 The course of treatment
11 The place of Brief Psychoanalytic Therapy

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About the author (2016)

R. Peter Hobson, Psychoanalyst and Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, Tavistock Clinic, London; San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis; University College, London

R. Peter Hobson is Lifetime Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Tavistock Clinic, London, and Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, UCL. He is a psychoanalyst, a member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. His previous books are Autism and the Development of Mind (Erlbaum, 1993), The Cradle of Thought (Pan Macmillan 2002/Oxford University Press, 2004) and, as editor and principal contributor, Consultations in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Karnac, 2014). He is semi-retired and living in California.

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