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Rosbrow, T. (1995). Understanding Transference: The CCRT Method: Lester Luborsky and Paul Crits-Christoph. New York: Basic Books, 1990, 313 pp., $35.00.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(4):607-610.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(4):607-610

Understanding Transference: The CCRT Method: Lester Luborsky and Paul Crits-Christoph. New York: Basic Books, 1990, 313 pp., $35.00.

Review by:
Thomas Rosbrow, Ph.D.

Understanding Transference: The CCRT Method presents a detailed overview of the research of Lester Luborsky, Paul Crits-Christoph, and their colleagues at the Penn Center for Psychotherapy Treatment and Research. Luborsky is one of the pioneers of psychoanalytic process research over the past 30 years. Since the late Seventies, he has elaborated the concept of the core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT). In this important book, the authors describe the evolution of the concept, present research in a number of areas using the CCRT, and give clinical applications of the CCRT. Reflecting the title, the authors are also interested in comparing the CCRT with Freud's writing on transference. Another aspect of the group's work is an interest in the concept of narrative, both as a unit of study and as a theoretical issue. In this review, I try to explain their concepts, elaborate key findings which are striking and clinically significant, and discuss theoretical issues—both those raised explicitly by the authors and also those stimulated by reading this book.

According to Luborsky, the CCRT is “the measure [that] captures the central pattern, script, or schema that each person follows in conducting relationships” (p. 1). In studying psychotherapy transcripts, Luborsky was drawn to “the most recurrent aspects of narrative interactions” (p.

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