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Symington, N. (1992). Further Learning from the Patient. The Analytic Space and Process: By Patrick Casement. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge. 1990. Pp. 197.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:168-170.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:168-170

Further Learning from the Patient. The Analytic Space and Process: By Patrick Casement. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge. 1990. Pp. 197.

Review by:
Neville Symington

This is a book about technique and comes from an analyst with a wealth of experience in treating both patients in analysis and in psychotherapy. I shall try first to capture the flavour and style of this book. It is not unlike his earlier book On Learning from the Patient (1985) and those who enjoyed that book will most probably enjoy this one.

One of Casement's most arresting characteristics is his candour. In many of his clinical examples he exposes his feelings and anxieties in a way that is, on the whole, rare in psychoanalytic literature. So, for instance, he tells his reader how he was sexually aroused in sessions with one patient (pp. 69–70). Also on many occasions he openly lets us see mistakes that he has made. It is not difficult for an analyst to say he made a mistake but to allow us to read chapter and verse of what occurred so that the mistake stands there clear for everyone to see is not so common and certainly takes some courage.

Another characteristic that is constantly displayed in this book is Casement's tact. It was Ferenczi who, in his later papers, praised the virtue of tact. Casement is a master of tact, realizing that if he puts something in another way, although it has the same meaning, it will probably be accepted by the patient. He gives an example of this on page 68 where he tells of a patient who was boring him and he ponders how to use this phenomenon interpretively. He decides to explore with her the way the patient is relating to him and then it is a short step for him to say, 'I am feeling puzzled about something … I have noticed, for some time now, that you frequently speak to me as if you are not expecting me to be interested in what you are saying'.

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