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Drake, N. (1993). Further Learning from the Patient. The Analytic Space and Process. By Patrick Casement. London: Tavistock/Routledge.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 7(2):193-193.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 7(2):193-193

Book Reviews

Further Learning from the Patient. The Analytic Space and Process. By Patrick Casement. London: Tavistock/Routledge.

Review by:
Nollaig Drake

Patrick Casement clearly states his theoretical position at the outset. He is a member of the Independent Group of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, and, as such, he emphasises his freedom to draw upon whichever theoretical ideas seem to offer the greatest possibility of developing his clinical work with individual patients. He contrasts his approach rather pointedly with what he considers to be the more dogmatic approach of other schools of thought.

This volume is the sequel to Patrick Casement's first book, On Learning from the Patient, and is an elaboration of the themes introduced there, particularly the interactional processes between patient and analyst, and their evolution in each analysis. The author is especially interested in issues of technique, particularly from the patient's viewpoint. He believes that the analyst's sensitivity to the patient's response to interpretation can help in monitoring their impact, and that the patient can enable the analyst to formulate more effectively and specifically for him as a patient, thus minimising what Casement sees as the temptation to fall back on textbook analysis. He also emphasises the importance of creating and maintaining an analytic space within which the patient and the analyst can experiment. Careful monitoring of that space can alert us to impingements on it, and the task then becomes one of understanding the nature of the impingement and its significance for the patient.

This book is essentially an account of Patrick Casement's own work with his patients and supervisees. It is richly illustrated with clinical vignettes. His aim has been to reach a wider audience than he feels a theoretical book could. In this I think he succeeds. The book makes interesting, enjoyable, and informative reading. For those who may not have read the first volume, Chapter One of this book provides a comprehensive background to the influences and thinking which shaped the earlier work and which provide the starting-point for this sequel.

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