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Dorpat, T.L. (1996). How Psychotherapy Works. Process And Technique. By Joseph Weiss. Foreword. By Harold Sampson, Ph.D. New York/ London: Guilford Press, 1993. 224 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 65:414-416.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:414-416

How Psychotherapy Works. Process And Technique. By Joseph Weiss. Foreword. By Harold Sampson, Ph.D. New York/ London: Guilford Press, 1993. 224 pp.

Review by:
Theo L. Dorpat

This book is based on a theory of psychopathology and psychotherapy (sometimes called “Control-Mastery” theory) developed over the last thirty years by Joseph Weiss and tested for over twenty years through formal, systematic research carried out by Weiss, Harold Sampson, and other members of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group. Today, over one hundred clinicians and researchers participate in the ongoing research and education activities of the Research Group.

In the landmark volume, The Psychoanalytic Process, Weiss and his associates presented a bold, original theory of the therapeutic process, together with a review of the empirical research supporting the theory. Now, in How Psychotherapy Works, Weiss extends his theory and focuses less on research and more on its clinical applications and implications.

Control-Mastery Theory is a contemporary psychoanalytic model that views psychopathology as derived from pathogenic beliefs developed in childhood. This theory includes important revisions in psychoanalytic concepts about unconscious mental functioning, motivation, and psychopathology.

The volume is divided into three parts. Part I (The Technique of Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice) presents many case vignettes, along with a discussion of theory and technique to show the application of Weiss's theory to the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

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