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Stemp, S. (2010). Analyst and Patient Exposed—a Relational Account: A Review of Dare to be Human: A Contemporary Psychoanalytic Journey, by Michael Shoshani Rosenbaum, 2009, Routledge, 215 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 46(4):599-605.

(2010). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 46(4):599-605

Analyst and Patient Exposed—a Relational Account: A Review of Dare to be Human: A Contemporary Psychoanalytic Journey, by Michael Shoshani Rosenbaum, 2009, Routledge, 215 pp.

Review by:
Sarah Stemp, Ph.D.

For the most part, we do our work in the dark, shrouded and held in secrecy, privacy, confidentiality. In Dare To Be Human, Israeli psychoanalyst Michael Shoshani Rosenbaum dares to expose in detailed particularity what transpired between him and his extraordinary patient, Daniel, during the course of their seven-year psychoanalytic treatment. Daniel himself contributes two sections written posttermination. In its extensive exploration of the effect of analyst and patient on each other, including careful tracking of countertransference experience, sources, and expression in enactments, this intimate testimony constitutes a mighty and unique contribution to our field. Through nuanced, but largely jargon-free writing, Shoshani succeeds in speaking to two audiences: He writes to demystify the psychoanalytic process for nonprofessional readers with limited knowledge and exposure to our work. He writes also for the professional analytic community—experienced clinicians and students of psychoanalysis for whom the book could well serve as a sophisticated teaching text. For this audience of colleagues, Shoshani has provided copious scholarly footnotes throughout, referencing sources in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literature. He also includes a final, more theoretically oriented chapter written expressly for the analytic community; here he circles back to offer a more complexly formulated analysis of such issues as the nature of therapeutic action in his work with Daniel, the use of differential therapeutic modalities (Freudian, Relational/Interpersonal, self-psychological), and questions relating to termination.

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