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Viederman, M. (1998). The Many Faces of Deceit—Omissions, Lies and Disguise in Psychotherapy. By Helen K. Gediman and Janice S. Lieberman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. 1995. Pp. 258.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:619-621.

(1998). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79:619-621

The Many Faces of Deceit—Omissions, Lies and Disguise in Psychotherapy. By Helen K. Gediman and Janice S. Lieberman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. 1995. Pp. 258.

Review by:
Milton Viederman

The authors of this volume are concerned with the issues of lying, omission and deceit. They offer a broad classification and discuss the literature, emphasising the absence of systematic study in the psychodynamic literature for reasons that would appear to be obvious, namely, the unavailability of profoundly deceitful people to engage in a psychotherapeutic relationship that requires authenticity. The authors properly distinguish between conscious and unconscious deception, the latter being the essence of the unconscious itself, namely the defence against knowing. When they acknowledge the analyst's position as one involving ‘the suspension of disbelief’ they emphasise the naïvety of his view ‘that what is being said represents the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ (p. 7). Analysts would dispute whether they listen for truth or for meaning and indeed the constructionist view emphasises the ‘truth’ of unconscious wish and fantasy.

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