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Dowling, S. (2011). Change in Psychotherapy: A Unifying Paradigm by the Boston Change Process Study Group, Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Alexander C. Morgan, Jeremy P. Nahum, Louis W. Sander, Daniel N. Stern Norton, New York, 2010; 235 pp; $26.00. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(5):1322-1331.
(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(5):1322-1331
Change in Psychotherapy: A Unifying Paradigm by the Boston Change Process Study Group, Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Alexander C. Morgan, Jeremy P. Nahum, Louis W. Sander, Daniel N. Stern Norton, New York, 2010; 235 pp; $26.00
Review by: Scott Dowling
The Boston Change Process Study Group, a group of six creative minds drawn from the fields of psychoanalysis, childdevelopment, and attachment theory (Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Alexander C. Morgan, Jeremy P. Nahum, Louis W. Sander and Daniel N. Stern) have joined forces to present a new, engaging, conception of the process of change in psychotherapy. Their ongoing investigations and evolving conclusions have been published in psychoanalytic journals over the past 13 years and are now collected in this volume. The book includes brief orienting introductions to each chapter, additional material in some of the chapters and portions of commentaries by three critical analysts (with responses by the authors). Though occasionally repetitive, this format aids understanding of a radically new perspective on therapeutic change and allows us to see the development and the increasing complexity of the authors' ideas.
The authors' subject is the clinical situation of patient and analyst. The origins of the authors' beliefs concerning change in psychotherapy are in the findings of mother-infant research and in the organizing principles of Dynamic Systems Theory. Topographic and structural theory are unmentioned as are Self Psychology, Kleinian, Lacanian, and Bionian therapy, sexual and aggressive drives, the pleasureprinciple, psychosexual stages and the ego. The authors view the organizing abstractions of these and other previous formulations as obstructions that confuse and distract.
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