Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To receive notifications about new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to receive notifications about new content in PEP Web? For more information about this feature, click here

To sign up to PEP Web Alert for weekly emails with new content updates click click here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Smith, D.L. (1989). A Primer of Psychotherapy by Robert Langs, Published by Gardner Press: New York, 1988; 232 pp.; £29.95 hardback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(4):598-599.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(4):598-599

A Primer of Psychotherapy by Robert Langs, Published by Gardner Press: New York, 1988; 232 pp.; £29.95 hardback.

Review by:
David L. Smith

This book is the most succinct and up-to-date account of the Communicative Approach to psychoanalytic psychotherapy available in print. Beginning with The Bipersonal Field (1976) Langs has gradually developed a radical and distinctive alternative to existing forms of psychoanalysis. Although originally inspired by the early Freud, Searles, Bion and Little, to name but a few, the Communicative Approach has developed to the point of being relatively independent of its sources.

Langs' work stems from the fundamental proposition that the unconscious part of the mind is basically an organ of interpersonal perception, as opposed to the autistic phantasy-ridden system dominated by the pleasure principle described by other writers. Langs shows that what he calls the deep unconscious system is much more sensitive in this respect than the conscious mind. Unconscious perceptions attach themselves to preconscious thoughts to produce disguised derivatives, much in the way that Freud describes in The Interpretation of Dreams.

This approach to the unconscious mind has radical implications for therapeutic technique. The patient is seen as constantly unconsciously monitoring the therapist's behaviour and feeding back his or her observations in derivative form. The technique that Langs has developed, then, is based on learning to understand these messages and to let the patient teach one how to conduct the therapy. When listening to patients in this way some surprising and often unsettling results emerge. Many conventional psychoanalytic methods (such as interpreting ‘transference’) are not unconsciously ‘validated’. Many of these methods are unconsciously experienced by patients as acts of violence, seduction or deception.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.