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Gann, E. (1984). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Theory, Technique, Therapeutic Relationship and Treatability: By Thomas J. Paolino, Jr., M.D. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1981. 246 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 53:329-333.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:329-333

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Theory, Technique, Therapeutic Relationship and Treatability: By Thomas J. Paolino, Jr., M.D. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1981. 246 pp.

Review by:
Erik Gann

Over the past fifteen years the field of "psychoanalytic psychotherapy" has become increasingly individuated from its parent treatment modality, and an entire literature has been produced. This recent contribution by Paolino is offered as a contemporary perspective on the field, from the most theoretical issues to the most basic practical details of the enterprise. From the opening pages on, the author indicates that he has a specific interest in maintaining terminological and conceptual consistency throughout, especially in introducing clarity to many concepts which have suffered from multiple meanings or from varying usage. He also states that his "prejudice … is against the delivery of psychotherapeutic techniques of any kind that are not based on a well thought-out model of psychic functioning and human behavior" (p. 6). With this laudable principle in mind he has written a text that is far-ranging both in the sense of the breadth of the topics and with regard to the wide readership to which he addresses himself. The title alone reflects the ambitiousness of the undertaking. That it should be attempted in so brief a format (the text contains only 219 pages) is testimony to the author's wish to simplify, to clarify, and to condense.

The book is organized into four sections, preceded by an introduction. They begin with a chapter in which Paolino arrives at a functional definition of "psychoanalytic psychotherapy" by comparing and contrasting the notions of "psychoanalysis" and "psychotherapy." This is followed by a theoretical chapter, which offers an introductory outline of some metapsychology in the context of the technical aspects of treatment. Paolino then discusses the various components of the therapeutic relationship. Finally, in the longest chapter of the book, he takes up issues of treatability and ongoing clinical assessment.

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