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Gabbard, G.O. (1994). Psychoanalytic Practice: Volume 2, Clinical Practice: By Helmut Thomä and Horst Kächele. New York: Springer, 1991, 540 pp., $69.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:925-929.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:925-929

Psychoanalytic Practice: Volume 2, Clinical Practice: By Helmut Thomä and Horst Kächele. New York: Springer, 1991, 540 pp., $69.00.

Review by:
Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.

In 1967 Helmut Thomä, Director of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Ulm (West Germany), began tape-recording psychotherapies. The transcripts stemming from those recordings, along with similar transcripts from a number of his colleagues, ultimately became stored in the "Ulm Textbank," which became the source of a series of systematic investigations into psychoanalytic theory and process. The work of Thomä, Kächele, and their German colleagues has had far-ranging influences on psychoanalytic research here in the United States and throughout the world.

As a result of their studies, these German investigators have undertaken a critical reassessment of the relation between psychoanalytic theory and technique, which has led to the publication of a two-volume text on the subject. In the first volume Thomä and Kächele asserted that Freud was misguided in his efforts to derive psychoanalytic technique from his theory. Specifically, they stressed that psychoanalytic process needs to be conceptualized as a two-person enterprise in which the analyst contributes as much to the process as the patient. Influenced to a considerable degree by the ideas of Gill (1982), the authors place a good deal of emphasis on the real relationship between the patient and the analyst. Resistance, for example, is presumed to involve behaviors in the analyst that make it difficult for the patient to free-associate. To a large extent, their model approximates the social-constructivist position of Hoffman (1992).

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