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Mills, J. (2005). FAILURES IN PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT. Edited by Joseph Reppen, Ph.D., and Martin A. Schulman, Ph.D. New York: International Universities Press, 2002. 302 pp. WAY BEYOND FREUD: POSTMODERN PSYCHOANALYSIS OBSERVED. Edited by Joseph Reppen, Ph.D.; Jane Tucker, Ph.D.; and Martin A. Schulman, Ph.D. London: Open Gate Press, 2004. 301 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 74(3):880-887.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(3):880-887

FAILURES IN PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT. Edited by Joseph Reppen, Ph.D., and Martin A. Schulman, Ph.D. New York: International Universities Press, 2002. 302 pp. WAY BEYOND FREUD: POSTMODERN PSYCHOANALYSIS OBSERVED. Edited by Joseph Reppen, Ph.D.; Jane Tucker, Ph.D.; and Martin A. Schulman, Ph.D. London: Open Gate Press, 2004. 301 pp.

Review by:
Jon Mills

Two of the most respected and conscientious editors in psychoanalytic publishing are Joseph Reppen and Martin Schulman. In their most recent collaborations, they bring to our attention two extremely important and timely topics that will likely be of interest to anyone concerned with the clinical efficacy of psychoanalytic practice and the future of psychoanalytic theory. Failures in Psychoanalytic Treatment is a candid, long overdue, and unpretentious look at the pitfalls, disappointments, technical blunders, countertransference reactions, patient–analyst mismatch, and the personal vulnerabilities all analysts are likely to encounter to some degree during their professional careers.

This book is unique and bold for its attempt to honestly face a topic that is both unpopular and not readily talked about in professional space. Each contributor highlights a specific aspect of what he or she means by psychoanalytic “failure”—some questioning the concept itself, others focusing on elements of therapeutic impasse, the patient's deficits as an inability to do analytic work (such as in the phenomena of resistance, defense, and transference enactments), and failure in the analyst's self-reflectiveness, as well as militant external forces that precipitate the collapse of treatment. Some chapters focus on eroticized elements of the treatment, destructive transference manifestations, and homosexual panic as underlying treatment failure, thus pointing to the intensity of these processes, resistances, countertransferences, and so forth, and not necessarily to the psychoanalysis itself.

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