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Richards, A.D. (1984). Practice and Precept in Psychoanalytic Technique. Selected Papers of Rudolph M. Loewenstein: With an Introduction by Jacob A. Arlow. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. 1982. Pp. 240. £17.50.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:369-372.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:369-372

Practice and Precept in Psychoanalytic Technique. Selected Papers of Rudolph M. Loewenstein: With an Introduction by Jacob A. Arlow. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. 1982. Pp. 240. £17.50.

Review by:
Arnold D. Richards

Practice and Precept in Psychoanalytic Technique brings together 13 papers written by Rudolph Loewenstein between 1951 and 1972, 12 of which deal with technique and the theory of technique. Excluded from this collection are the five landmark papers Loewenstein co-authored with Heinz Hartmann and Ernst Kris, his Christians and Jews: A Psychoanalytic Study(1951), his 'In Memoriam' essays, and a number of brief contributions and review essays. Grouping these papers on technique in a single volume makes a certain amount of repetition perhaps unavoidable. But though one cannot read the collection cover to cover with any sense of continual discovery, Loewenstein's major arguments retain their importance and so bear repeating. The book clearly establishes the value of the insights and technical recommendations which issues from Loewenstein's ego psychological perspective. The first paper in the collection, 'The problem of interpretation' (1949), is a treasure trove of useful dos and don'ts exemplifying the balanced viewpoint Loewenstein brought to the major issues of psychoanalytic technique. His major contribution to the problem of interpretation, as Arlow observes in his excellent introduction to the volume, was to emphasize that 'interpretations do not represent the sum total of the analyst's interventions' (p. 5), and to describe, accordingly, the range of interventions necessary if interpretations are to have their desired dynamic effect. Confrontation, clarification, and questioning of the analysand are among the dimensions of the analyst's activity that are addressed in these pages.

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