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Horwitz, L. (1987). Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Manual for Supportive-Expressive Treatment: By Lester Luborsky. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1984. 270 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 56:393-396.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:393-396

Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Manual for Supportive-Expressive Treatment: By Lester Luborsky. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1984. 270 pp.

Review by:
Leonard Horwitz

A small revolution has been occurring within the psychotherapy research field during the past decade. A consensus has grown among psychotherapy researchers that an adequate formal study of the outcome or process of psychotherapy must include, preferably in manual format, a clear description of the prescribed techniques that are applied in the treatment. It is not simply enough to label one's treatment as psychoanalytic, behavioral, or cognitive. One must specify the rationale, objectives, and techniques of the treatment as well.

Lester Luborsky, a leading psychoanalysis and psychotherapy researcher, has produced the first manual on psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and it offers considerable promise both as a research tool and as a teaching instrument. The difficulty in undertaking such a task should not be underestimated. In contrast to other therapies, such as behavioral treatment which has a clear-cut set of procedures, the psychoanalytic approach is dependent upon the kinds of communication the therapist receives from the patient, and hence, a succinct statement of procedures and responses is no easy task. Luborsky has been able to capture the spirit as well as the specific components of supportive-expressive psychotherapy in a brief, yet comprehensive form. The principles he elucidates are broad enough to encompass a wide spectrum of treatment situations and patient types while they are specific enough to offer concrete suggestions, particularly to the novice.

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