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Gabbard, G.O. (1998). The Talking Cures: The Psychoanalyses and the Psychotherapies. By Robert S. Wallerstein. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995, 587 pp., $65.00. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(2):586-588.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2):586-588

The Talking Cures: The Psychoanalyses and the Psychotherapies. By Robert S. Wallerstein. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995, 587 pp., $65.00

Review by:
Glen O. Gabbard

For psychoanalysts of my generation, who came of age professionally during the last three decades of this century, Robert Wallerstein has always played a major role in shaping our identities as analysts. In eloquent contributions to the literature over nearly half a century, he has consistently articulated the leading issues with which the profession was struggling at any given moment and formulated strategies to deal with those issues. Long before psychoanalysis was threatened by the forces of managed care and a host of alternative therapies, Wallerstein was devising empirical methods to study outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment so that our beliefs and wishes could be backed up with data. Always wary of provincialism, Wallerstein recognized the coming era of pluralism in world psychoanalysis and sought to identify areas of common ground so that we might avoid the historical pattern of theoretical differences leading to schisms. His leadership in helping us all to think in terms of “both/and” rather than “either/or” has encouraged us to listen to each other constructively instead of rejecting those whose ideas differ from ours.

Now this senior statesman of psychoanalysis has taken it upon himself to summarize the history and current status of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Encyclopedic in scope and scholarly in method, The Talking Cures is an impressive accomplishment.

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