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Chodoff, P. (2006). Long–term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Basic Text, by Glen O. Gabbard, American Psychiatric Publications, Inc., Washington, DC 2004, pp. 224, $35.95.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(1):223-224.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(1):223-224

Book Reviews - Edited by Joseph P. Merlino and Cesar A. Alfonso

Long–term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Basic Text, by Glen O. Gabbard, American Psychiatric Publications, Inc., Washington, DC 2004, pp. 224, $35.95.

Review by:
Paul Chodoff

The primary purpose of this book is to serve as a guide for training psychiatric residents to help them to achieve core competency in long–term psychodynamic psychotherapy—which is one of five forms of psychotherapy, each of which is to have its own training manual. The others are supportive psychotherapy, brief psychotherapy, cogni-tive–behavioral psychotherapy and psychotherapy combined with psychopharmacology. The author of the present work, Glen Gabbard, makes it clear from the beginning that his approach will be flexible and non–doctrinaire when, in the second page of his first chapter, he lists seven misunderstandings commonly held by many beginning their training (and probably by others who are further along). These misunderstandings stem from an uncritical acceptance of an earlier version (or caricature) of psychoanalysis.

Dr. Gabbard however does base much of his discussion on a psychoanalytic nexus, but it is a psychoanalysis of the therapeutic alliance, not that of the grim–faced mute who finally emerges from his cave with magical Delphic utterances. Some of the ideas of ego and self psychology, but regrettably, not those of Harry Stack Sullivan whose concept of the participant observer deserves consideration, are also utilized.

Dr. Gabbard's approach, is not only flexible, it is also extremely thorough. It is hard to think of any aspect of dynamic therapy that is not dealt with here, from theoretical key concepts to where to place the clock in the consulting room. The chapters proceed from key concepts to how to assess a patient's suitability for this treatment, the indications for it, how to get started, what the therapist should say and do, the goals of treatment, resistances, dreams and fantasies, countertransference, working through, and termination. The book is interlarded with helpful clinical illustrations and charts.


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