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Stewart, H. (1972). The Briefer Psychotherapies: By Leonard Small. New York: Brunner/Mazel. 1971. Pp. xix +262.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:429-429.

(1972). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53:429-429

The Briefer Psychotherapies: By Leonard Small. New York: Brunner/Mazel. 1971. Pp. xix +262.

Review by:
Harold Stewart

The author, a psychoanalytically orientated psychologist, has here written the first textbook on the briefer psychotherapies and for this he deserves our thanks. He stresses that for the larger portion of the population of any country, there will be no psychotherapy if the only therapy is long-term, and has therefore attempted 'to make readily available in a cogently organized form the wisdom and the experience of the surprisingly large number of therapists who have penetrated the "time-barrier" in psychotherapy', and 'to proselytize, to call attention to the impressive record of directed, intentional short-term psychotherapy' (p. xvi).

The book is divided into four parts. The first gives a picture of the beginnings and growth of the therapies, their distinguishing features, and supporting theories. They are distinguished from psychoanalysis in terms of goals, time factors, and methods. Since the term 'brief' in the titles refers to time, this is obviously a crucial topic, but since each therapist quoted has his own ideas of what he means by brief, ranging from one to 217 sessions, the author appreciates that no precision can be given here apart from sorting them into five general time categories. He does not give his own opinion on this topic and I find this highlights what, for me, is a defect that runs throughout the book—that the author does not commit himself to a critical viewpoint and this tends to make the substance of the book bland, without bite, and hence

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