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Deutsch, L. (1986). The Talking Cure. A Descriptive Guide to Psychoanalysis: By Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1985. 152 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 55:660-662.
(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:660-662
The Talking Cure. A Descriptive Guide to Psychoanalysis: By Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1985. 152 pp.
Review by: Lawrence Deutsch
At a time when psychoanalysis is being accused of being outmoded and when biological and social epidemiological methods predominate in the general psychiatric community, The Talking Cure by Joseph
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D. Lichtenberg provides a reminder of the psychological roots of human behavior. This volume undertakes two formidable tasks: defining psychoanalytic goals and demonstrating the therapeutic process as it unfolds.
Essentially, it is written for the laity. In a straightforward manner, the reader is taken through the choice of an analyst, evaluation of his/her credentials, and the nature of the initial consultations. As the author discusses the beginning of an analysis (the analytic contract and the opening phase having been described), he presents some well-chosen vignettes which serve to illustrate the basic concepts of psychoanalysis. Lichtenberg's style is warm and empathic as he delineates the process.
Other books written by analysts for the laity have often stressed or overstressed the importance of analytic insight. The dramatic quality of a well-timed interpretation captures the imagination of the reader, who may erroneously feel that insight and cure are synonymous. Lichtenberg, however, treats insight as a necessary but not sufficient factor for producing structural change. Thus, in his chapter, "Learning How the Mind Works," he discusses such diverse topics as "defenses," "themes," "patterns," and "transference." In the early chapters, he stresses that it
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