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Waldron, S., Jr. (1983). Doing Psychotherapy: By Michael Franz Basch. New York: Basic Books, 1980. 188 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:624-629.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:624-629

Doing Psychotherapy: By Michael Franz Basch. New York: Basic Books, 1980. 188 pp.

Review by:
Sherwood Waldron, Jr.

This small book is intended for those who are learning psychotherapy. It is rich in illustrative material which is well suited as a focus for the discussion of psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic principles. Its most special quality is a consequence of Basch's gift for inspired reconstruction from notes and memory—with, admittedly, some creative license—of sessions with patients (as well as some material from supervision). He provides us with six more or less extensive clinical illustrations of evaluation and treatment carried out from a psychoanalytic perspective. The cases, which are introduced periodically throughout the book, provide a lively way of conveying the data of observation which serve as the basis for clinical inferences. They illuminate his ideas about handling the initial contacts with the patient, initiating therapy and maintaining its momentum, and handling the transference, including the negative transference. There are also useful remarks about counter-transference. Basch's examples enliven his discussion of clinical principles and convey the richness of the actual work with patients.

As the book progresses, the issues Basch discusses grow more complex, and the influence of the theories of self psychology on the clinical approach becomes more and more central. Because of this, I found increasing reason for unhappiness with the clinical work and theory as I read through the book. Let us take, for instance, the case of a social worker, Miss Banks.

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