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Fierman, L.B. (2012). Change in Psychotherapy—A Unifying Paradigm, by The Boston Change Process Study Group. Norton, NY, 2010, 235 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 40(2):345-347.

(2012). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 40(2):345-347

Change in Psychotherapy—A Unifying Paradigm, by The Boston Change Process Study Group. Norton, NY, 2010, 235 pp.

Review by:
Louis B. Fierman, M.D.

The eight behavioral scientists who in 1995 became The Boston Change Process Study Group (BCPSG) have now collaborated to author this 235-page book focused on Change: “Change” in the process of psychotherapy and “Change” in the processes of pre-verbal and preconscious infants forming meaningful, interactive, nonverbal relationships with their mothers. Step by step the authors take the reader through eight separate chapters of progressive emotional mother-infant interactions unrelated to the interpretive mechanisms of psychoanalytic therapy.

Chapter 1 introduces the concept of “nodal events” in psychotherapy, a nodal event being a “now moment” in which a patient has an interaction with the therapist that changes his relationship with that therapist and also changes the patient's sense of the self. Nodal events can occur at a so-called “moment of meeting” with a therapist. It may occur as a result of an explicit interpretation by the therapist, or it may occur outside of awareness due to so-called nonverbal “implicit relational knowing” which is the knowing about the mother gained experientially by the pre-verbal infant.


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