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Richards, A.D. (1990). The Anatomy of Psychotherapy by Lawrence Friedman Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988, xiv + 601 pp., $59.95. Psa. Books, 1(2):183-192.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Books, 1(2):183-192

The Anatomy of Psychotherapy by Lawrence Friedman Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988, xiv + 601 pp., $59.95

Review by:
Arnold D. Richards, M.D.

Lawrence Friedman, clinical professor of psychiatry and member of the History of Psychiatry Section of the Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, is the author of more than 20 papers on psychoanalytic theory, psychoanalytic technique, and the practice of psychotherapy. The quality of his writing earned him in 1985 the Distinguished Contributor Award of the American Psychoanalytic Association. His papers, thoroughly revised, are here combined with a dozen new contributions and connecting introductory and summarizing sections.

The coherence of The Anatomy of Psychotherapy reflects its author's thoughtfulness and the logical development of his scientific project. His work, like a life, has, to borrow a phrase from Heinz Lichenstein, an identity theme. Thus, although lengthy and at times a bit redundant, the book succeeds, as each of its 37 chapters can be seen in the context of an overall plan clearly and succinctly stated in its preface and introduction. In the latter, Friedman presents the work's three interrelated themes:

(a) Psychotherapy is a relationship interfered with by theory. (b) The way therapists argue about and modify theory shows their practical needs better than they can tell you outright and so the history of theory is a dissection of therapy. (c) Theory especially theory of therapy cannot be understood apart from the immediate practice problems it is designed to help and these practice problems can only be learned by feeling their bite. (p.

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