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Davison, W.T. (1986). Resistance, Psychodynamic and Behavioral Approaches: Edited by Paul L. Wachtel. New York/London: Plenum Press. 1982. Pp. 267.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:392-393.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:392-393

Resistance, Psychodynamic and Behavioral Approaches: Edited by Paul L. Wachtel. New York/London: Plenum Press. 1982. Pp. 267.

Review by:
Walter T. Davison

The book consists of an introduction by the editor, followed by four chapters on psychodynamic views of resistance, four chapters on behavioural views of resistance and ends with eight commentaries by the individual writers on the other contributors' ideas.

In the introduction, Paul L. Wachtel offers his reason for editing this book. He stated that he had hoped to learn what accomplished therapists and analysts would do at nodal points in treatment. He hoped that the book would contribute to a spirit of 'detente and to the recognition that psychodynamic and behavioural perspectives could be mutually facilitative'. Dr Wachtel thought that his hope had been largely unrealized at the end of this book, but I'm not sure that it has been. A careful scrutiny of the chapters permits the reader to draw inferences about the similarities and differences between approaches.

In the first chapter, 'Dynamic psychotherapy and its frustrations', Michael Franz Basch defines resistance as 'opposition to change'. He views resistance as a manifestation of the intrapsychic conflict. This distinguishes him from the behaviourists who experience resistance more as an interpersonal problem between the therapist and the patient. His approach seems to emphasize confrontive efforts. Detailed clinical examples make it possible to infer aspects of his personal theory of cure. Herbert J. Schlesinger wrote the chapter, 'Resistance as a process' which elaborates on some points that Basch elucidated.

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