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Perr, H.M. (1964). The Process in Psychoanalysis. By Harold Kelman, M.D., American Institute for Psychoanalysis. New York, 1963, 1.59 pp., $ 1.00.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 24(1):92-93.

(1964). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 24(1):92-93

The Process in Psychoanalysis. By Harold Kelman, M.D., American Institute for Psychoanalysis. New York, 1963, 1.59 pp., $ 1.00.

Herbert M. Perr, M.D.

This volume is an edited version of a manual which has been used since 1948 as a guide by psychiatrists-in-training at the American Institute of Psychoanalysis. It has been used in conjunction with a course whose function “is to teach what to observe and how to observe, in order to identify the process in the psychoanalytic situation.” As used here, the term “psychoanalytic situation” includes all that is going on in the patient, in the doctor, and in the relationship they have with each other. It also concerns itself with the host of external factors in which both participants are living.

The five chapters of this volume present in sequence aspects of the analytic process; each has its own dimensions, and yet each is intimately interconnected with the other. The traditional pattern of medical and psychiatric history-taking resembles the logical sequence presented here of a) the initial interview, b) the life history, c) the process in the analysis to date, d) an individual analytic session, and e) a session in which a dream is contained. While the major focus is on observing and identifying the psychoanalytic process, important aspects of technique and the doctor-patient relationship are interwoven throughout the text.

In this manual Dr. Kelman stresses the importance of developing total receptivity to patient, self and process. “Our total being, our most effective therapeutic tool, functions as responder, reactor, and resonator.” He urges that “we again avail ourselves of our hard won training in observation which we acquired in our studies of medicine, neurology, and psychiatry…” and strive “to fulfill an allegation we make and an aspiration we have, namely that psychoanalysis is a scientific discipline and a scientific method for the therapy of personality disturbances.

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