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Schmidt, M. (2013). Storr, Anthony & Holmes, Jeremy. Storr's The Art of Psychotherapy. London: Hodder Arnold, 2012. Pp. 256. Pbk. £24.99. J. Anal. Psychol., 58(4):549-551.

(2013). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 58(4):549-551

Storr, Anthony & Holmes, Jeremy. Storr's The Art of Psychotherapy. London: Hodder Arnold, 2012. Pp. 256. Pbk. £24.99

Review by:
Martin Schmidt

Jeremy Holmes's ‘completely updated, rewritten and revised’ restoration of Anthony Storr's 1979 classic introduction to psychotherapy is accomplished with the sensitivity and respect that reflect their close friendship. The original book is of its time, somewhat patriarchal (assuming the audience to be male psychiatric trainees), but nevertheless full of wisdom and helpful advice for those embarking on a career in psychotherapy. Dr Storr was one of the most celebrated British psychotherapists (fellow of both the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal Society of Literature) and, for a time, the face of psychiatry on the BBC. Many of his books were best sellers, and I still refer to his introductions to Jung (1973) and Freud (1989), which were informed by his training as a Jungian analyst and later a Freudian analysis.

Holmes spruces up the original by using a contemporary idiom. He expunges stigmatic labels such as ‘schizophrenic’ and also adopts a ‘reversed sexism’ in the text, referring to therapists as ‘she’ and patients as ‘he’. Most importantly, he incorporates some of the latest developments in psychotherapy to keep the book relevant to today's audience. His own perspective is from a predominantly attachment and mentalization theory base (see Holmes 2010 for an intelligent rapprochement of the ideas of Bowlby, Ainsworth et al. with present-day psychoanalysis). His sympathy with the concept of mentalization permeates the reading and reframes the original as ‘an aim of therapy is to foster the capacity to mentalise’ (p. 74). Storr probably would have agreed with this premise but used different language to express it.

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