Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book addresses the two issues currently of major concern in the field of psychoanalysis. The different theoretical models, and the need for more case material in the literature. Thus, the main theme for the 5th. I.P.A . Congress of Training Analysts is on Problems in the Integration of Different Theoretical Frameworks in the Formation of the Psychoanalyst. Klumpner and Frank (J.A.P.A. 1991, Vol. 21) state that after reviewing papers from the leading journals, “ not a single one of the fifteen papers included any significant amount of primary clinical data! … we found no verbatim examples and only one dream fragment … we also believe that case reports … remain our most compelling means of communicating these clinical findings.” Meeting these concerns, Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book contains in-depth studies of cases highlighting the leading analytic models of personality and the typical working styles associated with each: classical theory, object relations, ego psychology, and self psychology. Cases showing an analyst weaving a tapestry of several models with the same patient are also included. Psychoanalytic literature contains many summaries of clinical case material, but details of the actual work of the analyst are extremely rare. Psychoanalysis Today: A Case Book will help fill that gap. Here are in-depth discussions of work with a single individual followed over time, demonstrating personal change and how it occurs. Abstract concepts come vividly to life. These cases are focused on the shared experience of the patient and the analyst. They tell the story of that experience and its effect on the patient’s life both inside and outside the consulting room. There are many voices in this book. The reader can contrast different styles; different assumptions; a whole range of viewpoints. This book will be of particular value to students. There is no comparable source for seeing just how mentors work. Also, practicing psychoanalysts and psychotherapists will find a chance to study the work of their colleagues in close detail. This is a pleasure quite unavailable in the daily rush of professional life. Programs in psychology, social work and other behavioral sciences, as well as schools of medicine, will use this book as a text or supplementary source. It is an invaluable reference tool for libraries. This book has mass appeal as well: the reader will learn about those forces leading us to feel and act as we do. There is the drama of seeing lives unfold. We see how the actual events between analyst and patient, evolving over time, gradually and with much difficulty, bring liberating changes in the patient’s experience of life.
Charles C Thomas