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Friedman, H.J. (2015). The Search for a Relational Home: An Intersubjective View of Therapeutic Action, by Chris Jaenicke, Routledge, East Sussex and New York, 2014, 114 pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(4):456-458.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(4):456-458

The Search for a Relational Home: An Intersubjective View of Therapeutic Action, by Chris Jaenicke, Routledge, East Sussex and New York, 2014, 114 pp.

Review by:
Henry J. Friedman, M.D.

During the 1960s, a decade in which psychoanalysis experienced a period of unprecedented dominance in the therapeutic arena, Elizabeth Zetzel, more or less singlehandedly, championed the unpopular idea of the therapeutic alliance, meaning that the patient needed to understand their own role in pursuing the goals of analysis, as a necessary component of the relationship between psychoanalyst and patient. This was in distinct contrast to the more general belief that such an alliance was detrimental to the emergence of transference and ultimately to the purported “transference neurosis” from which a cure would emerge and without which all psychoanalysis would fail to reach a deep enough level. We have come a great distance from that battle over psychoanalytic technique as the ego psychology of Zetzel and Greenson, for example, after a period of acceptance and dominance, has been challenged from several different directions perhaps the most significant being the relational intersubjective school of thinking. In this brief but intense book Chris Jaenicke introduces the reader to a radical intersubjective perspective that in itself represents an extreme version of the relational intersubjective approach to psychoanalytic therapy. His approach is deeply personal and insistent on the centrality of the analyst's subjective mental and emotional state in determining what emerges when two independent subjectivities, that of the therapist and the patient, co-mingle and influence each other.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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