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Catracchia, G.Z. (2013). Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 22(3):188.

(2013). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 22(3):188

BOOK REVIEWS

Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career

Giorgia Zandanel Catracchia

Sandra Buechler. Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career. Routledge: New York, 2012

In her new book “Still Practicing”, Dr. Sandra Buechler describes the various phases of the work of a clinical therapist showing how fundamental the first steps one takes in this profession can be in forming a clinical identity. Dr. Buechler draws from her own experience as a clinical psychoanalyst using topics encountered during her long career and outlining and explaining them through clinical examples and queries.

The book offers an interesting mirrored structure with frequent queries of the narrative side by side with the essence of the psychoanalytical practice, the problematization: as a supervisor, teacher and long time professional she asks herself how to create the conditions to instill trust into the trainer both as a clinician and as a person. She introduces crucial matters such as the feeling of shame and inadequacy that may limit the work of the trainer as well as feelings of sorrow and regret especially after the loss of a patient.

According to Dr. Buechler shame can undermine your clinical judgment making you feel inadequate as a professional but can also bring you to question your value as a person and because shame entails vulnerability and low self-esteem, when the feeling of shame is experienced at the beginning of the training it will leave deep scars throughout your clinical career. Therefore, dealing with shame is a necessary premise for clinicians to achieve fundamental characteristics in their work: having a sense of purpose, embracing the job with empathy, being able to draw from ones inner emotions to make positive feelings like joy, hope and love for the truth emerge.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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