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Lombardi, R. (2005). Curare con la psicoanalisi. Percorsi e strategie [Curing with psychoanalysis. Routes and strategies] by Giuseppe Di Chiara Milano: Cortina. 2003. 143 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):938-941.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):938-941

Curare con la psicoanalisi. Percorsi e strategie [Curing with psychoanalysis. Routes and strategies] by Giuseppe Di Chiara Milano: Cortina. 2003. 143 pp.

Review by:
Riccardo Lombardi

The author is a training analyst and was the President of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society from 1993 to 1997. In the seven tightly packed chapters of this book, he tackles several subjects central to psychoanalysis. These include nosography, indications, methodology and the various phases that characterise the psychoanalytic process. The inclusion of the word ‘curing’ in the title and the emphasis—throughout the book—on elements such as ‘prescriptions’ and ‘contraindications’ derive from the author's explicit choice to employ classical medical terminology to stress a view of psychoanalysis as a ‘tough therapeutic intervention’ in the treatment of the ‘mental suffering caused by psychic illness’ At the same time Di Chiara states that ‘psychoanalytic construction and narration cannot be measured only by a gauge of therapeutic benefit’, since this might mean losing sight of ‘the need for the methodological rigour and scientific foundation of psychoanalytic intervention’ (p. 84). Thus, the author distinguishes between two categories of therapeutic methods that make use of contributions from the unconscious: those which follow a method that excludes ‘constant plying and integration between past and present, that favour[s] one level or another— the purely reconstructive one or the purely intersubjective one’ (p. 85) are to be considered ‘psychotherapies’, as distinct from analysis.

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