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Celenza, A. (2005). Clinical values: Emotions that guide psychoanalytic treatment By Sandra Buechler Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press. 2004. 188 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(6):1755-1757.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(6):1755-1757

Clinical values: Emotions that guide psychoanalytic treatment By Sandra Buechler Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press. 2004. 188 pp.

Review by:
Andrea Celenza

Sandra Buechler begins with the premise that the vast literature on psychoanalytic treatments has cultivated intellect at the expense of feeling and spirit. Psychoanalytic writing, she says, appeals to the mind more than the heart and soul. For many psychoanalysts, this premise will have more than a ring of truth and will immediately conjure up stereotypic images of psychoanalytic treatment in the past century.

In this book, Buechler offers a scientific basis for the art of psychoanalytic technique. The author accomplishes this by articulating her theoretical framework, mostly derived from emotion theory (Izard, 1977), interpersonal theory (Sullivan, 1953), and attitudes about being human (Fromm, 1956), to contain and inform her already vitally present engaging clinical tool: her (emotional) self.

Deeply influenced by her research into emotion theory and her intellectual home at the William Alanson White Institute, New York, Buechler draws on her concept of the emotional system and attempts to elucidate her own personal use of emotion theory in the interpersonal matrix of psychoanalytic treatment. It is not resistance, maladaptive defenses, or an inaccurate interpretation that stymies treatment, for example, but lack of hope or unbearable loneliness that blocks the motivation to work. Buechler states, Emotions are the most powerful modulators of other emotions [and] are central to our conception of ourselves (p. 5).

Buechler opposes her distinctly interpersonal heritage with the traditional neutrality and anonymity of American ego-psychology.

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