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Naiman, J. (1992). Le Travail Mental Du Psychanalyste. (The Mental Work of the Psychoanalyst.): By Lisbeth von Benedek. Paris: Éditions Universitaires, 1989. 158 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 61:116-119.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:116-119

Le Travail Mental Du Psychanalyste. (The Mental Work of the Psychoanalyst.): By Lisbeth von Benedek. Paris: Éditions Universitaires, 1989. 158 pp.

Review by:
James Naiman

The focus of most psychotherapy research is on changes occurring in the patient. This book's focus is on the mental activity of the therapist at work. Although the author acknowledges the differences (p. 14) between analytic psychotherapy (sitting up, face to face, one or two sessions per week, emphasis on confrontations, clarifications, interpretations, and working through) and classical analysis (use of the couch, four or five sessions per week, emphasis on transference interpretations), for the purpose of this study she combines them, using the rationale that both have the same theoretical framework. All the therapists in the study described in this book are analysts with at least five years of analytic experience (p. 21). The author uses the word "project" ("projet" in French) to refer to the analyst's anticipations, predictions, wishes, and feelings projected into the future. Her hypothesis is that this "project" makes sense only through successive approaches, based on explicit, conscious components as well as implicit preconscious components, which are part of the predictions of the analyst.

Psychotherapy was used when the patients were judged to be too sick for classical analysis, the decision being made by the analytic clinicians (p. 13).

In appearance, the author's methodology was simple. She interviewed the analysts twice by means of a semi-structured interview which was taped. The first interview took place after two to six sessions and the second ten months to a year later. The clinicians

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