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Hitchcock, J. (1989). Psychoanalytic Treatment. An Intersubjective Approach: By Robert D. Stolorow, Bernard Brandchaft, and George E. Atwood. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1987. 187 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 58:666-671.
(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:666-671
Psychoanalytic Treatment. An Intersubjective Approach: By Robert D. Stolorow, Bernard Brandchaft, and George E. Atwood. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1987. 187 pp.
Review by: John Hitchcock
This short book (172 pages, plus index) is Volume 8 of the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series. It is dedicated to the memory of Heinz Kohut. All or portions of five of the eight chapters were previously published elsewhere. This does not result in any sense of fragmentation, however, because of the single-mindedness with which the authors reach the same formulation in each chapter, no matter the starting point, and because of good editing.
The book is written from the vantage point of self psychology, which, usefully or not, and with validity or not, is distinguished in much of the psychoanalytic literature from the mainstream of psychoanalysis as it has evolved in the thinking and writing of those who regard themselves as adhering to the tenets of Sigmund Freud. This reviewer identifies himself as a member of the latter category, a position modified to the extent that he has followed the burgeoning literature on self psychology, albeit from a distance.
The authors' aim, as they state in the preface, is to "apply our intersubjective approach to a broad array of clinical issues and problems that are critical in the practice of psychoanalytic therapy" (p. ix). And this they do. However, it is my opinion that there is little of substance for psychoanalysts as a result of the authors' efforts, for the reasons outlined below.
The authors express their belief (p. ix) that the central explanatory construct guiding psychoanalytic theory, research, and treatment is the concept of an intersubjective field.
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