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Sharoff, R.L. (1960). Psychotherapy with Children. Clark E. Moustakas. 1959. Pp. 324 Harper and Brothers, $5.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 20(1):94-94.

(1960). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 20(1):94-94

Psychotherapy with Children. Clark E. Moustakas. 1959. Pp. 324 Harper and Brothers, $5.

Review by:
Robert L. Sharoff, M.D.

Clark E. Moustakas is a staff member of The Merrill-Palmer School in Detroit. He has previously edited a book entitled “The Self.” It has been described as the most important contemporary research into the ways of discovering the true self. Among its contributors is Karen Horney. It is not surprising, therefore, that in reading his present work I felt a sense of familiarity.

The subtitle to the present volume is entitled “The Living Relationship.” Moustakas calls his therapy “relationship therapy.” Relationship therapy, he states, is a unique growth experience created by one person seeking and needing help and another person who accepts the responsibility of offering it. In relationship therapy, the relationship is both means and end. The relationship is the significant growth experience. In contrast, Moustakas says, in psychoanalytic approaches the relationship is the means through which other goals are achieved. As the theoretic approach to relationship therapy Moustakas refers to Rank and Adler.

In relationship therapy there is respect for the unique nature of the child, Moustakas says. I do not feel that this is a valid distinction, as Moustakas appears to imply, between relationship therapy and analytic therapy. Analytic therapy does not fail to respect the uniqueness of the individual. Individual therapists of any persuasion may fail to do so, however.

Another difference between analytic and relationship therapy Moustakas describes as follows: In contrast to analytic therapy where there is a continual examination of the past; in relationship therapy the focus is always on the present, living experience.

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