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Jaffe, D.S. (1973). The Psychoanalytic Process. A Case Illustration: By Paul A. Dewald. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1972. 668 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 42:625-626.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:625-626

The Psychoanalytic Process. A Case Illustration: By Paul A. Dewald. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1972. 668 pp.

Review by:
Daniel S. Jaffe

Because there are all too few extensive case reports in the psychoanalytic literature, a predominantly verbatim record of a complete analysis, covering every phase of the treatment, is unique enough to attract widespread attention on that account alone. When a dedicated and skilful author makes available the kind of experience described in this book, the result is a work that will intrigue and inspire all who are interested in the study of the psychoanalytic process. Dewald's stated purposes are to illustrate with primary data the phenomenology of mental functioning during an analysis, to demonstrate the nature of the therapeutic process and the central importance of the transference neurosis, to indicate how the analyst's working mind contributes to the advancement of the process, and to provide a model showing how psychoanalytic theory and metapsychological formulations are derived from the data of clinical observations. The result is a most stimulating and instructive contribution, eminently successful in fulfilling its objectives.

As noted by Joan Fleming in her foreword, the reader will find many rewards in vicariously sharing the details of the day by day work, with its sometimes tedious and repetitive but often exciting and gratifying features. The careful preparation of the groundwork that leads to the regressive reliving together with preservation of the therapeutic alliance will be admired by all who daily struggle with such technical demands of analytic work. Particularly appreciated will be the analyst's skill in setting the stage for the emergence of the unconscious organizing or core fantasies that make the whole range of symptoms understandable and ultimately provide the base from which effective insight and working through can proceed. The condensation of pregenital and phallic-oedipal elements in the patient's fantasies and other drive derivatives are skilfully elucidated and strike the reader with the kind of impact that affects any direct observer in the clinical situation.

A most valuable aspect of the report is the analyst's discussion at the end of each session, placing in perspective the inner experiences of the patient, as well as the tactical considerations dictating the analyst's interventions.

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